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Flexibility and structure in refugee legal advice communication: What examining the discursive structure of interactions can tell us about legal-lay intercultural and multilingual communication

Reynolds, Judith 2018. Flexibility and structure in refugee legal advice communication: What examining the discursive structure of interactions can tell us about legal-lay intercultural and multilingual communication. Presented at: 8th International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, Cardiff, UK, 17 - 19 September 2018.

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Abstract

This presentation discusses the discursive structuring of a set of intercultural and multilingual legal advice interactions on the subject of refugee family reunion. It emanates from a linguistic ethnographic case study of intercultural and multilingual communication in legal advice-giving on issues of asylum and refugee family reunion, carried out in a not-for-profit advice service in one of England’s major cities during 2016. In the study, a total of 22 legal advice meetings between one immigration lawyer and a range of asylum and refugee clients (both with and without interpreters) were observed and audio recorded, then transcribed and the communication patterns within them analysed. This presentation focuses on an examination of the range of communicative activity types (Linell, 2010) used in meetings, to highlight the structured but also flexible discursive organisation of eight advice meetings involving legal advice on refugee family reunion. The presentation will show that the discursive structure of legal advice-giving evident in the data (broadly reflecting existing models of legal advice communication, Sherr, 1986) was both a stable and a flexible feature of communication in these meetings. It will explore the significance and contribution of a range of other communicative activities engaged in by meeting participants, highlighting the interactional hybridity (Sarangi, 2000) of legal advice communication in this context. Further, the presentation will argue that the structure of the interaction functioned as a resource for successful intercultural communication, providing space for all parties to contribute to the interaction and arrive at a shared understanding of the client’s situation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2019 10:06
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/120989

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