Dados vol. 23 n. 2 Rio de Janeiro 1980

Conflito, Poder e Negociação na Família: A Questão Geracional

Salem, Tania


This article deals with the issue of power within the family based on a research on upward mobile parents and their relations with adult offspring. Emerson and Blau's concept of social exchange is greatly used. It is initially suggested that the motivation for inter-generational conflicts is rooted in youth behavior which is perceived as a threat to their parents' project of biological and social reproduction. Next, with reference to the resources possessed by each generation, it is argued that cont1ict regulation between different generations takes the form of a symmetric social exchange leading to a new equilibrium and preventing the escalation of the conflict. The results indicate the need to revise Blau's propositions concerning "intrinsically gratifying" relationships. In his view, such relationships or associations are an end in themselves, geared toward the mutual satisfaction of the actors and incompatible with a power dimension. In contrast, this article concludes that (a) instrumental factors weight heavily on the actors' decision to maintain the relationship; (b) linkages of mutual dependence can maintain a mutually unsatisfactory relationship; (c) in crisis situations, power resources manipulated by the various actors remain a possible conflict management strategy. In this perspective, power is not absent from the relationship, but it is mobilized as a mutual threat in order to open space for negotiation and mutual accommodation.

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Conflito, Poder e Negociação na Família: A Questão Geracional