Full Text


Tiffani Everetts

Subject Psychology
Social Psychology » Interactional Sociology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Refusals are the most aggressive form of accounting behavior. While other types of accounts (e.g., excuses and justifications) involve the admission of guilt or responsibility for a behavior, a refusal is the outright denial of responsibility and the negative nature of an event. This type of account is the least frequently used because of its aggravating nature; often social harm is not remedied, and the victim is left with a negative impression of the actor. Refusals were not originally incorporated into taxonomies of accounting behavior. Schönbach pioneered the incorporation of refusals into account taxonomies by including various types of refusals in his conception of accounting behaviors. Schönbach defines refusals quite broadly, as evidenced by the types of refusals in his taxonomy. In addition to specifically denying responsibility and any negativity associated with a behavior, refusals can also include refusals to provide an account for behavior and statements against one's right to question the social transgression. Additionally, an actor may deny that any damage occurred, minimize the event in question, highlight good intentions, or note the positive (often unintended) consequences associated with the event. Furthermore, refusals can include “evasions and mystifications.” People who use this type of refusal often distract the blamer by talking about other topics, or, in ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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