Blame-account sequences in child custody disputes
2014 (English)In: Discourse & Society, ISSN 0957-9265, E-ISSN 1460-3624, Vol. 25, no 1, 47-64 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article analyzes how cross-examining attorneys and litigating parents accomplished blame attributions and accounts during courtroom examinations in child custody disputes. It draws on recordings from 42 cases. It is shown how person descriptions were vital parts of sequences of blame ascriptions and subsequent blame accounts, where cross-examining attorneys elicited and then invoked parents’ disparaging person descriptions of their ex-partners. As part of the institutional format of these disputes, parents had to handle an interactional dilemma concerning the reflexive implications of blaming others. While blame-implicative descriptions had been used to allocate blame to the ex-partner, they now backfired in that cross-examining attorneys would deploy the same descriptions as ways of reallocating blame (to the testifying parent). As part of such blame reallocations, cross-examining attorneys upgraded alleged prior blame attributions, thus fueling the dispute and setting up a recursive machinery in the form of a never-ending series of blamings.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 25, no 1, 47-64 p.
blame accounts, blame attributions, child custody disputes, courtroom interactions, interactional dilemmas, person descriptions
Research subject Child and Youth Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97538DOI: 10.1177/0957926513508857ISI: 000330625300003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-97538DiVA: diva2:678960
ProjectsVittnesmål i vårdnadstvister - förhandlingar om barnets bästa i domstol och familjerätt
FunderForte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2010-0035