Audience design in the police interview:the interactional and judicial consequences of audience orientation


Police-suspect interviews in England & Wales are a multi-audience, multi-purpose, transcontextual mode of discourse. They are conducted as part of the initial investigation into a crime, but are subsequently recontextualised through the judicial process, ultimately being presented in court as evidence against the interviewee. The communicative challenges posed by multiple future audiences are investigated by applying Bell’s (1984) audience design model to the police interview, and the resulting "poor fit" demonstrates why this context is discursively counter-intuitive to participants. Further, data analysis indicates that interviewer and interviewee, although ostensibly addressing each other, may orientate to different audiences, with potentially serious consequences. As well as providing new insight into police-suspect interview interaction, this article seeks to extend understanding of the influence of audience on interaction at the discourse level, and to contribute to the development of theoretical models for contexts with multiple or asynchronous audiences.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: ?? 53981500Jl ??
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
Additional Information: The paper has been accepted for publication and will appear in a revised form, subsequent editorial input by Cambridge University Press, in Language in Society published by Cambridge University Press. © Cambridge University Press.
Uncontrolled Keywords: audience design,police interviews,forensic linguistics,Linguistics and Language,Sociology and Political Science,Language and Linguistics
Publication ISSN: 1469-8013
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2024 07:08
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2013 13:27
Full Text Link: http://journals ... ine&aid=8824102
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2013-02
Published Online Date: 2013-01-24
Authors: Haworth, Kate (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-3446-8838)



Version: Draft Version

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