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SOSC 1375 Reading Summary - (Brooks) Narrative Transactions.docx

by Anu J
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Social Science
SOSC 1375
Olena Kobzar

Reading: Brooks, Peter. “Narrative Transactions – Does the Law Need a Narratology?” Yale Journal of Law & Humanities 18 (2006), No. 1, pp. 1 - 38 The author explores the idea of a legal narrative, a story told (or mis-told) in order to influence a specific opinion or induce a specific result. Sometimes these stories make sense and are very convincing to the judge/jury/public and at other times, they make no sense at all. Often, lawyers may make use of standard narrative sequences (stereotypical stories) to help aid their cases (p. 2). The author’s main question is that if stories play such an important role in decision-making, why more attention is not paid “to narrative, to narrative analysis and even narrative theory?” (p. 3). Some interesting points that the author makes are highlighted below: Integrity through mimicry (p. 8) – when telling a narrative, often, witnesses are asked to recall events and previous conversations. When attributing word/action to a person (often the defendant), it is important to make it believable and tell a story that seems like it would be true. When retelling something the defendant said, the witness should/does use colloquialisms, ungramm
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