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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton August 27, 2013

Users in uses of language: embodied identity in Youth Justice Conferencing

J. R. Martin, Michele Zappavigna, Paul Dwyer and Chris Cléirigh
From the journal Text & Talk


This paper offers a multimodal perspective on how identities are performed and negotiated in discourse, concentrating on the interaction of language and body language within a particular genre, Youth Justice Conferencing. These conferences operate as a diversionary form of sentencing in the juvenile justice system of New South Wales, Australia. Typically, they involve a young person who has committed an offense coming face to face with the victim of their crime, in the presence of family members, community workers, police, and a conference “convenor.” We conduct close, multimodal discourse analysis of the interactions that occur during the Rejoinder step in a particular conference, and investigate an “angry boy” identity enacted by two young persons at this point in the proceedings. This persona is very different to the forthcoming and remorseful persona idealized by conference designers. The role of body language in intermodally proposing and negotiating bonds within the conference is explored.

Published Online: 2013-08-27
Published in Print: 2013-08-19

©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston