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Book Information


Title: Latinas' Narratives of Domestic Abuse
Subtitle: Discrepant versions of violence
Written By: Shonna L. Trinch
Series Title: IMPACT: Studies in Language and Society 17

In the American legal system valid witness-testimony is supposed to be invariable and unchanging, so defense attorneys highlight seeming inconsistencies in victims’ accounts to impeach their credibility. This book offers an examination of how and why victims of domestic violence might seem to be ‘changing their stories,’ in the criminal justice system, which may leave them vulnerable to attack and criticism. Latinas’ Narratives of Domestic Abuse: Discrepant Versions of Violence investigates the discourse of protective order interviews, where women apply for court injunctions to keep abusers away. In these encounters, two different versions of violence, each influenced by a range of ethnolinguistic, intertextual and cultural factors, are always produced. This ethnography of Latina women narrating violence suggests that before victims even get to trial, their testimony involves much more than merely telling the truth. This book provides a unique look at pre-trial testimony as a collaborative and dynamic social and cultural act.

Table of contents

List of figures and tables vii
Acknowledgments ix
1. Narrating violence in institutional settings 1–14
2. Telling the truth about violence: Language ideology and the function of narrative structure 15–36
3. Representation, ownership and genre: Language ideologies of narrative production and performance 37–55
4. Telling and re-telling: Latina narrators interacting with institutions 57–86
5. The protective order interview: A linguistic tug-of-war for representation 87–119
6. Disappearing acts: Power, control, opposition and omission 121–153
7. Disfigurement and discrepancy: Taking the story out of the report 155–190
8. Transforming domestic violence into narrative syntax 191–223
9. Beyond the storytelling taboo: Latinas’ narratives and sexual violence 225–268
10. Discrepant versions and the margins: Truth or consequence for Latina battered women? 269–278
References 279–293
Appendix. Glossary of legal terms 295–299
Author index 301–304
Subject index 305–313

Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1588114155
ISBN-13: 9781588114150
Pages: x, 315 pp.
Prices: U.S. $ 155
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9027218552
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: x, 315 pp.
Prices: EUR 95.00