Everyday Troubles: The Micro-politics Of Interpersonal Conflict

Paperback | April 6, 2015

byRobert M. Emerson

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From roommate disputes to family arguments, trouble is inevitable in interpersonal relationships. In Everyday Troubles, Robert M. Emerson explores the beginnings and development of the conflicts that occur in our relationships with the people we regularly encounter—family members, intimate partners, coworkers, and others—and the common responses to such troubles.
            To examine these issues, Emerson draws on interviews with college roommates, diaries documenting a wide range of irritation with others, conversations with people caring for family members suffering from Alzheimer’s, studies of family interactions, neighborly disputes, and other personal accounts. He considers how people respond to everyday troubles: in non-confrontational fashion, by making low-visibility, often secretive, changes in the relationship; more openly by directly complaining to the other person; or by involving a third party, such as friends or family. He then examines how some relational troubles escalate toward extreme and even violent responses, in some cases leading to the involvement of outside authorities like the police or mental health specialists.
By calling attention to the range of possible reactions to conflicts in interpersonal relationships, Emerson also reminds us that extreme, even criminal actions often result when people fail to find ways to deal with trouble in moderate, non-confrontational ways. Innovative and insightful, Everyday Troubles is an illuminating look at how we deal with discord in our relationships.

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From roommate disputes to family arguments, trouble is inevitable in interpersonal relationships. In Everyday Troubles, Robert M. Emerson explores the beginnings and development of the conflicts that occur in our relationships with the people we regularly encounter—family members, intimate partners, coworkers, and others—and the common...

Robert M. Emerson is professor emeritus in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Judging Delinquents: Context and Process in Juvenile Court, editor of Contemporary Field Research: Perspectives and Formulations, and coauthor of Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:April 6, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022623794X

ISBN - 13:9780226237947

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Table of Contents

Contents
Foreword by Jack Katz
Preface
Acknowledgments

One       Introduction
Two      Beginnings
Three     Unilateral Responses
Four      Remedial Complaints
Five       Informal Others
Six        Accusations and Extreme Responses
Seven    Authoritative Involvement
Eight     Conclusion

Reference List
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Everyday Troubles is a remarkable and welcome achievement in the Goffman-Simmel tradition. Placing aside a macropolitics, Emerson examines the process through which negotiations occur in interaction orders. This is a bracing reminder that, although we often wish for sociality to proceed smoothly, to make this happen we must work our way through seemingly impenetrable thorny rules in which diverse conceptions of the good and the moral produce interactional scrums.”