Administrators mandating mediation: Tools of institutional violence cloaked in the discourse of reconciliation

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Drawing on a critical incident, the practice of administrators mandating mediation as a means to resolve institutional conflicts is explored. The case is made that in relegating conceptual critique and disagreement to a psychologized space, individuals become the sites for change instead of the institution. The analysis is in keeping with Bourdieu's notions of symbolic violence, where domination is exercised in the everyday practices of an institution, favoring some, diminishing others. This exploration of a critical incident and the administrative choices surrounding it illuminates how tools such as mediation can be appropriated as a tool for institutional violence rather than expanding a democratic dialogue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-33
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Leadership in Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005


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