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Recruiting frontstage entextualisation: drafting, artefactuality and written-ness as resources in police-witness interviews

Rock, Frances Eileen 2017. Recruiting frontstage entextualisation: drafting, artefactuality and written-ness as resources in police-witness interviews. Text and Talk 37 (4) , pp. 437-460. 10.1515/text-2017-0012

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Abstract

This paper examines the complex literacy event through which police witness statements are produced in England and Wales. Witness statements are constructed through interviews which archetypally consist of a trajectory from the witness of the crime, through a police officer and onto a written page with the officer taking most control of the writing. This paper examines how this ostensibly inevitable trajectory materializes in practice. It identifies a distinctive way of traversing the trajectory through which the inner workings of the trajectory itself are put on display by the interviewing officer and through this display recursively influence the trajectory. This display of the trajectory draws on four discursive means: writing aloud, proposing wordings, reading back text just written and referring explicitly to the artifactuality of writing, which I label, collectively, “Frontstage Entextualization.” Through Frontstage Entextualization, the writing process comes to be used as a resource for both producing text and involving the witness in text production. The paper identifies three forms of activity which are accomplished through Frontstage Entextualization: First, frontstage drafting which allows words and phrases for possible inclusion to be weighed-up; secondly, frontstage scribing which foregrounds the technology of pen and paper which allows the witness to be appraised of writing processes; and finally, frontstaging the sequentiality of written-ness to textually resolve difficulties of witness memory. The paper concludes by suggesting that the analysis has shown how text trajectories can be made accessible to lay participants by institutional actors.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Publisher: De Gruyter
ISSN: 1860-7330
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 March 2017
Date of Acceptance: 6 March 2017
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2018 04:57
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/99012

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