Chiara Bassetti Emanuele Bottazzi

The power of rhythm. From dance rehearsals to adult-newborn interaction

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This is a theoretical and empirical contribution on rhythm in social interaction, meant to enlighten its role in the situated, interactional «management» of power relations in ordinary situations and culturally-specific contexts. To this aim, we adapt the Weberian notion of charisma to the realm of micro-interaction, connecting it to the dialectics between conceptual and nonconceptual aspects of interaction and rhythm. We further characterize charisma as the capability to set the rhythm in interaction, changing others' beliefs at the conceptual level. This happens by leveraging, on the one hand, the pleasure of being together in a common rhythm, and on the other, the compelling character of the associative dimension of interaction. The contribution is based on two ethnographic research stud ies: one on the field of Italian theatrical dance, the other on the everyday interaction between a newborn baby, her parents and other members of their intimate circle.


  • Rhythm
  • Power Relations
  • Charisma
  • Dance Rehearsals
  • Adult-Newborn Interaction


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