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Discursive Constructions of Consent in the Legal Process
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Discursive Constructions of Consent in the Legal Process

Susan Ehrlich, Diana Eades, and Janet Ainsworth


Consent is one of the foundational principles of Western liberal legalism, although legal doctrine is surprisingly inattentive to how it is constructed and contested. This book explores the linguistic and discursive dimensions of consent—and the processes involved in eliciting what the law considers to be consent—in a wide variety of sociolegal settings. The authors are experts in linguistics and law and use diverse theoretical and analytical approaches to examine the complex ways in which language is used to seek, negotiate, give, or withhold consent. By investigating consent across multiple ... More

Keywords: consent, discourse, sociolegal settings, linguistics and law, social and interactional context, linguistic ideologies

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780199945351
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945351.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Susan Ehrlich, editor
Professor of Linguistics, York University

Diana Eades, editor
Adjunct Professor of Linguistics, University of New England (Australia)

Janet Ainsworth, editor
Professor of Law, Seattle University

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1 Introduction

Susan Ehrlich and Diana Eades

Section 1 Free and Voluntary Consent

3 Post-penetration Rape

Susan Ehrlich

Section 2 Informed Consent or Ritualized Consent?

7 The Empty Performative?

John Conley, R. Jean Cadigan, and Arlene Davis

Section 3 The Influence of Discursive Practices

9 Consent and Compliance in Youth Justice Conferences

Michele Zappavigna, Paul Dwyer, and J. R. Martin

Section 4 The Coercive Force of Cautions

13 “No Comment” Responses to Questions in Police Investigative Interviews

Elizabeth Stokoe, Derek Edwards, and Helen Edwards