Discourse, defiance, and rationality: "Knowledge work" in the " obedience" experiments

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this article, I present a secondary qualitative analysis of archived audio data from two conditions (" voice-feedback" and " women as subjects" ) in Milgram's experiments. Using a perspective informed by rhetorical and discursive psychologies, I focus on the rhetorical strategies employed by participants. This highlights the use of strategies based around direct invocations of " knowledge." Analysis explores the ways in which participants could use such strategies to challenge the experimenter's definition of the situation in their efforts to extricate themselves from the experiment. Findings are discussed in relation to two ongoing debates in the study of Milgram's experiments: First, the importance of attending to defiance and resistance as much as compliance and obedience; second, the questioning of the status of the phenomena captured in Milgram's studies as necessarily being concerned with " (dis)obedience".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-438
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Volume70
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Discourse, defiance, and rationality: "Knowledge work" in the " obedience" experiments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Profiles

    No photo of Stephen Gibson

    Stephen Gibson

    Person: Academic (Research & Teaching)

    Cite this