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Text & Talk

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies

Ed. by Sarangi, Srikant


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1860-7349
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Volume 33, Issue 4-5

Issues

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

J. R. Martin / Michele Zappavigna / Paul Dwyer / Chris Cléirigh
Published Online: 2013-08-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2013-0022

Abstract

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.

Keywords: youth justice conferencing; restorative justice; systemic functional linguistics; gesture; affiliation

About the article

J. R. Martin

J. R. Martin is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Sydney. His research interests include systemic theory, functional grammar, discourse semantics, register, genre, multimodality, and discourse analysis. Eight volumes of his collected papers (edited by Wang Zhenhua, Shanghai Jiaotong University Press) have recently been published in China. His forthcoming book (with M. Zappavigna and P. Dwyer) is Discourse and Diversionary Justice: An Analysis of Ceremonial Redress in Youth Justice Conferencing (Palgrave). Address for correspondence: Department of Linguistics, Transient Building F12, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia 〈 〉.

Michele Zappavigna

Michele Zappavigna is Lecturer in the School of Arts and Media at the University of New South Wales. Her major research interest is in the language of social media. Recent books include Discourse of Twitter and Social Media (Continuum, 2012) and Tacit Knowledge and Spoken Discourse (Bloomsbury, 2013). Forthcoming, with R. Page, J. Unger, and D. Barton, is Researching Language and Social Media (Routledge) and, with J. R. Martin and P. Dwyer, Discourse and Diversionary Justice: An Analysis of Ceremonial Redress in Youth Justice Conferencing (Palgrave). Address for correspondence: School of Arts and the Media, Robert Webster Building, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia 〈 〉.

Paul Dwyer

Paul Dwyer is Lecturer in Performance Studies at the University of Sydney. He has published widely on the use of theatre in community-based health, welfare, and education projects. More recent research has focused on performance and the politics of reconciliation, including field studies of “restorative justice” as practiced in the NSW juvenile justice system and in Bougainville (PNG). His forthcoming book (with J. R. Martin and M. Zappavigna) is Discourse and Diversionary Justice: An Analysis of Ceremonial Redress in Youth Justice Conferencing (Palgrave). Address for correspondence: Department of Performance Studies, Woolley Building, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia 〈 〉.

Chris Cléirigh

Chris Cléirigh has worked on various research projects in various Australian universities (Sydney, UTS, Macquarie, Wollongong, UNSW, UNE) and in industry since 1992. He is currently engaged in a project entitled “Australian Defence Organisation: Language and Diversity” with Elizabeth Thomson at UNSW. He has numerous publications in various subfields of linguistics and speech technology. Address for correspondence: 23 The Avenue, Tumbi Umbi, NSW 2261, Australia 〈 〉.


Published Online: 2013-08-27

Published in Print: 2013-08-19


Citation Information: Text & Talk, Volume 33, Issue 4-5, Pages 467–496, ISSN (Online) 1860-7349, ISSN (Print) 1860-7330, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2013-0022.

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