Just Words, Second Edition: Law, Language, and Power

Paperback | June 20, 2005

byJohn M. Conley, William M. O'Barr

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Is it "just words" when a lawyer cross-examines a rape victim in the hopes of getting her to admit an interest in her attacker? Is it "just words" when the Supreme Court hands down a decision or when business people draw up a contract? In tackling the question of how an abstract entity exerts concrete power, Just Words focuses on what has become the central issue in law and language research: what language reveals about the nature of legal power.

Conley and O'Barr show how the microdynamics of the legal process and the largest questions of justice can be fruitfully explored through the field of linguistics. Each chapter covers a language-based approach to a different area of the law, from the cross-examinations of victims and witnesses to the inequities of divorce mediation. Combining analysis of common legal events with a broad range of scholarship on language and law, Just Words seeks the reality of power in the everyday practice and application of the law. As the only study of its type, the book is the definitive treatment of the topic that will be welcomed by students and specialists alike.

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Is it "just words" when a lawyer cross-examines a rape victim in the hopes of getting her to admit an interest in her attacker? Is it "just words" when the Supreme Court hands down a decision or when business people draw up a contract? In tackling the question of how an abstract entity exerts concrete power, Just Words focuses on what ...

John M. Conley the is William Rand Kenan, Jr., Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina Law School. William M. O'Barr is professor of cultural anthropology at Duke University where he also holds appointments in the Departments of English and Sociology. Their many works include Rules versus Relationships, also published by t...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:184 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:June 20, 2005Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226114880

ISBN - 13:9780226114880

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Note on Transcript Conventions
1: The Politics of Law and the Science of Talk
2: The Revictimization of Rape Victims
3: The Language of Mediation
4: Speaking of Patriarchy
5: A Natural History of Disputing
6: The Discourses of Law In Cross-Cultural Perspective
7: The Discourses of Law in Historical Perspective
8: Conclusion
Notes
References
Index