Authority relationships between obedience and disobedience

According to these premises, what are the common meaning structures of the concepts of obedience and disobedience that guide and constrain actions? Which are the bottom-up definitions of obedience and disobedience? To fill this gap in the literature on authority relationship we chose social representations theory (SRT) () as the theoretical frame for studying authority relationship.

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Milgram, S. (1965). “Some Conditions of Obedience and Disobedience to Authority.” Relations

Some Conditions of Obedience and Disobedience to Authority

The structure and thematic analysis complement each other for both obedience and disobedience. The two SRs have several common themes: (a) (Non) Conformity with regulations; (b) Multi-form regulations, ranging from formal laws to implicit social norms; (c) Authority is a multi-faceted object. It can be a physical person, an institution or a social entity; (d) Evaluation is context-based. Obedience and disobedience cannot be evaluated but according to the social consequences of their actions; and (e) Punishment is a strategy both to maintain obedience and to contrast disobedience.

Obedience and Disobedience | Doc's Bible Study Blog

Coherently, actual disobedient and protest actions can be interpreted referring to the social representations of obedience and disobedience described in this paper. Authority relationship is here considered as a dynamic relation between the individual and the authority, between the will of self-mastery of the individuals and the limits imposed by the authority. As recalled by , a functional democracy is possible in the balance between obedience and disobedience. People protesting in these years for different causes (Economic crisis, authoritarian governments, lack of free of speech, etc.) aim to decide for their future, consider authorities as illegitimate and strive for their self-mastery using disobedience as an instrument of active citizenship to change the unjust status quo ().

Milgram, S. (1965). Some conditions of obedience and disobedience to authority. , 57-76. doi:
Milgram, Stanley, Some Conditions of Obedience and Disobedience to Authority,In Miller, A. (ed.), The Social Psychology of Psychological Research, 1972Societies develop systems of beliefs, values, norms and representations to understand and interpret the social events. In order to understand the behavior of people disobeying authorities and not blindly following state rules and regulations, we must first understand how people represent the concepts of obedience and disobedience (). In fact, in addition to hierarchical contexts, people are included in communicative contexts within which transmit, shape and negotiate their knowledge, values and attitudes (). It is relevant to unveil the representations of authority relationship because the way people mean it and represent it influence social change and democracy processes (). In fact, people, sharing meanings and scripts, give order to reality and use social norms to establish the adequacy of a behavior (; ). In this sense, when representations became pervasive in a social group they can assume normative functions and define the institutional asset of that specific community (). Moreover many definitions of the authority relationship have been given throughout history and by different human sciences approaches (e.g. ; ; ; ) but these theoretical definitions were based on assumptions of logic and top-down empirical evidence.
The Bible gives a concrete example of how enormous impact one man's obedience and disobedience may have on mankind.

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This unique focus on just one specific kind of authority relationship and, furthermore, only through experimental paradigm (), left uncovered what theorized as the ideological level of analysis. Only recently, a growing number of studies is addressing the inquiry of authority relationship according to a constructive methodology (; ). identified some fundamental components of the representations of obedience and disobedience as, respectively, , , , , , and and , and . In a recent study () conducted according to the structuralist approach of social representations (), these two representations have been defined as composed by common themes such as and , but differentiating for issues such as the degree of activation of the subjects enacting obedience or disobedience.

The President's Dream Colloquium on Obedience and Disobedience: Taking Action on Climate Change is generously funded by:

by rewarding obedience and punishing disobedience?

The Milgram experiments offer a potentially helpful metaphor for our current predicament, one that I will expand on below. But first a few words on obedience and disobedience more generally.

The President's Dream Colloquium on Obedience and Disobedience: Taking Action on Climate Change is generously funded by:

Government Obedience and Civil Disobedience-Graphic

Pozzi, M., Fattori, F., Bocchiaro, P., & Alfieri, S. (2014). Do the right thing! A study on social representation of obedience and disobedience. , 18-27. doi: