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Expectations, Legitimation, and Dominance Behavior in Task Groups

Cecilia L. Ridgeway and Joseph Berger
American Sociological Review
Vol. 51, No. 5 (Oct., 1986), pp. 603-617
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2095487
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Expectations, Legitimation, and Dominance Behavior in Task Groups
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Abstract

This paper proposes an expectation states theory of the legitimation of power and prestige orders in task groups. Valued status positions are a reward for those whose distribution members develop expectations. The more differentiated these expectations, the more likely that the power and prestige order will be treated as legitimate. Applying our formulation to various types of group structures we derive a set of theoretical assertions that relate the initial status composition of a group to the likelihood that its power and prestige order becomes legitimatized. These predict, among other things, that legitimation of structure is more likely to develop in heterogeneous status consistent groups than in groups that are initially homogeneous, and it is more likely to develop in the latter groups than in heterogeneous status inconsistent groups. If verified, these predictions will provide an explanation for the difficulty that those who operate from a disadvantaged external status position, such as women and minorities in mixed sex or bi-racial groups, often face in trying to wield directive power over their members even when they are task leaders.

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