Claudio Baraldi

The sociological foundations of mediation analysis

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Mediation; Communication; Social Systems; Interaction; Dialogic Form.

In the international literature, there are three main types of mediation analysis, mediation of conflicts, intercultural mediation and language mediation. These types of analysis are not integrated, and so far sociological analysis has not shown interest in dealing with mediation as a whole, although it is an important and complex social phenomenon. Despite their differences, recent theories of mediation share a relational approach. Starting from this approach, the paper suggests a sociological analysis of mediation, based on the concepts of reflexivity, function, structure and structural coupling, as they have been elaborated by the social systems theory. This analysis shows that mediation is a social system, based on reflexive coordination, with the primary function of promoting active participation and new narratives. It is an autonomous system, which is based on a structure of equality and takes a dialogic form. Although autonomously structured, mediation depends on the problems of functioning of other social systems, and its structure is always coupled with the structures of these systems. The form of this structural coupling provides an interesting reply to those critical approaches that see mediation as a way of preserving the status quo and preventing social change.

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