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  • Cited by 6
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
July 2019
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Book description

Using conversation analysis to study the interaction between mediators and disputants, this study shows how mediation is used to resolve conflict in small claims and divorce mediation sessions. Angela Garcia explores the techniques mediators use to help disputants tell their stories, make and respond to complaints and accusations, and come up with ideas for resolving the dispute. By analyzing these techniques in their interactional context, she shows how they impact the experience and responses of disputants, and demonstrates that mediator techniques can empower disputants, maximize disputant autonomy, and display mediator's neutrality while in some cases, the organization of talk in mediation may work against these goals. This book is the first to use conversation analysis to study how mediation works and how mediators can best help disputants.This book is no. 34 in the Studies in Interactional Sociolinguistics series. In some copies, it has mistakenly been printed as no. 33.


‘… the book is an excellent blend of rigorous analytic focus with relevance to disputants' and mediators' behaviour and outcomes drawn out clearly. It is highly readable, making Conversational Analysis accessible and relevant to new audiences. It is recommended for anyone who is interested in how mediation works, why it often breaks down, and how it can be done more effectively.’

Janet Smithson Source: Journal of Pragmatics

‘… a compelling read, especially for linguists, mediation practitioners and others who may be interested in how mediation sessions work in some parts of the United States and beyond. Its strengths lie in the observational, aptly illustrated and longitudinal character of the data corpus and presentation of analyses. … the author has significantly bridged the knowledge gap by showing, using the conversation analysis approach, how conflict is resolved in small claims and divorce mediation sessions in the United States.’

Eniola Boluwaduro Source: Sociolinguistic Studies

‘Angela Cora Garcia has written an interesting book which looks in depth at how mediation works.’

Dr Treasa Kenny Source: Journal of Mediation and Applied Conflict Analysis

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