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Presentation
Expert Witnesses and Courtroom Discourse: Membership Categorization Devices and the Creation of the Subject and Subjectivity
107th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (2012)
  • Donald Winiecki, Boise State University
Abstract

The expert witness in legal proceedings is both a historically necessary part of modern legal proceedings in a society increasingly influenced by science and technology, and a much maligned figure often accused of purporting ‘junk science’ and of acting as an ethically empty mercenary. While much of the social action that attempts these various subjectifications is done outside of courtrooms, the present report takes as its object verbal interaction in actual court proceedings that involve an expert witness. The study takes a combined conversation analytic (specifically, non-sequential, or membership categorization analyses) and discourse analytic (specifically post-structural) perspective. Findings focus on the particular use of categorizations by lawyers, judges and the expert witness in terms of rules of the law and of relevant science in the process of court proceedings and the way those categorizations are then used in subsequent court activities and decisions.

Disciplines
Publication Date
August 18, 2012
Citation Information
Donald Winiecki. "Expert Witnesses and Courtroom Discourse: Membership Categorization Devices and the Creation of the Subject and Subjectivity" 107th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (2012)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/donald_winiecki/7/