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Othering the “other” in court: Threats to self-presentation during interpreter assisted hearings
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Media and Journalism.
2014 (English)In: International Journal of Law, Language & Discourse, ISSN 1839-8308, Vol. 4, no 1, 27-68 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper is based on an ethnographic research project studying interaction processes and rituals; the interplay between speech and social interaction during interpreted hearings in Swedish District Court cases on domestic violence, where opponents have Middle Eastern, Muslim backgrounds. It is argued that a combination of linguistic changes performed by an interpreter – subtractions, additions and content alterations – during interpreted hearings can cause situations of emotional drainage and contagion, leading to further ”othering” of parties that already are culturally and linguistically ”othered”, both inside and outside the courtroom context. Ultimately, their loss of control over self-presentation is a matter of unequal power distribution and a potential threat to the principle of legal security. Thus, the view of the interpreter as merely a context-bound supportive drummer at the back of the orchestra is challenged and related to social order and stratification processes on an abstract societal level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IJLLD Press , 2014. Vol. 4, no 1, 27-68 p.
Keyword [en]
court interpreting, interaction rituals, emotional energy, othering, self-presentation
National Category
Sociology Social Psychology Media and Communications
Research subject
Media Studies and Journalism, Media and Communication Science; Social Sciences, Sociology; Social Sciences, Social Psychology
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-36319OAI: diva2:736725
Förhandlingar i rätten och likhet inför lagen En etnografisk studie av hur kultur, etnicitet, kön och ålder förhandlas under rättegångar som rör gatukriminalitet. Malmö HögskolaDiscursive relationships between the judicial system and journalism. A study of notions of culture and gender in criminal justice and journalism. Linnéuniversitetet.
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P12-0405:1

The research informing the article has been funded by Riksbanken (Malmö University) as well as Barometernstiftelsen, Concurrences and the social science faculty (all at Linnaeus University). Thus, it is based on work carried out both at Malmö University and Linnaeus University. 

Available from: 2014-08-08 Created: 2014-08-08 Last updated: 2014-11-04Bibliographically approved

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