Publication details [#64198]

Mieroop, Dorien Van De, Jonathan Clifton, Prachee Sehgal and Dr. Aneet. 2018. The multimodal enactment of deontic and epistemic authority in Indian meetings. Pragmatics 28 (3) : 333–363.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


Authority is a much discussed topic in organizational literature, but its in situ enactment is little investigated. Using the notions of deontic and epistemic authority and using multimodal conversation analysis as a research methodology, the purpose of this paper is to provide an empirical study of authority-in-action. It particularly focuses on both sequences of talk and the multimodal resources that are mobilised to ‘do’ authority. Furthermore, as research from non-Western contexts remains rare, this paper complements insights into authority enactment based on ‘Western’ data by using data that is drawn from a corpus of naturally-occurring video-recorded faculty meetings at an Indian University. Findings indicate that the doing of authority can be made visible by explicating participants’ orientation to their respective deontic and epistemic rights and their invocation of particular identities, which are accomplished by means of a complex intertwining of verbal and non-verbal resources.