Just Words : Law, Language, And Power

Just Words : Law, Language, And Power

by John M. Conley, William M. O'Barr
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Just Words : Law, Language, And Power by John M. Conley, William M. O'Barr

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226114880
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 06/20/2005
Series: Chicago Series in Law and Society Series
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 184
Sales rank: 1,038,947
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

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 the University of Chicago Press.

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