Lawyers in interviews

‘I advise you not to answer that question’: conversation analysis, legal interaction and the analysis of lawyers’ turns in police interrogations of suspects

Authored by: Elizabeth Stokoe , Derek Edwards

The Routledge Handbook of Forensic Linguistics

Print publication date:  March  2010
Online publication date:  March  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415463096
eBook ISBN: 9780203855607
Adobe ISBN: 9781136998737


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Conversation analysis (henceforth, CA) emerged in the 1960s in the work of the American sociologist, Harvey Sacks, and his colleagues Emanuel Schegloff and Gail Jefferson. CA’s roots are in ethnomethodology (henceforth, EM: literally, ‘the study of people’s methods’), a programme developed by another sociologist, Harold Garfinkel (1967). His basic idea was that people in society, or members, continuously engage in making sense of the world and, in so doing, methodically display their understandings of it: making their activities ‘visibly-rational-and-reportable-for-all-practical-purposes’ (Garfinkel 1967: vii). Language was central to the EM project of explicating members’ methods for producing orderly and accountable social activities. Like Garfinkel, Sacks’s aim was to develop an alternative to mainstream sociology: an observational science of society and social action that could be grounded in the ‘details of actual events’ (Sacks 1984: 26).

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