Language in the Judicial Process


Author’s summary of:

Separate and unequal: The linguistic legitimation of legal ideology.

An attempt to establish the connections between the ‘micro’ linguistic resources and the ‘macro’ categories of gender, power and legal/ sociocultural ideology in the American context. The approach is multidisciplinary: discourse, sociolinguistics, gender, political economy, power, ethnography, feminist legal scholarship, legal semiotics, Foucauldian discourse, power and knowledge, Bakhtinian genre. Uses Ochs’ model of indexing gender relations, Foucault’s idea of discursive shifts, Sherzer’s discourse-centred approach to society and culture, and Benson’s semiotic interpretation of law. The data are five Supreme Court cases: Bradwell vs. Illinois (1973), Muller vs. Oregon (1908), Reed vs. Reed (1971), Roe vs.Wade (1973), and J.E.B. vs. Alabama (1994).


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