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Martin, J.R., Zappavigna, M. and Dwyer, P. (2009) Negotiating shame: Exchange and genre structure in Youth Justice Conferencing. In A. Mahboob and C. Lipovsky [eds.] Studies in Applied Linguistics and Language Learning. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 41-72.

Authors:
CHAPTER FOUR
NEGOTIATING SHAME: EXCHANGE AND
GENRE STRUCTURE IN YOUTH JUSTICE
CONFERENCING
J.R.MARTIN, MICHELE ZAPPAVIGNA & PAUL
DWYER1
1. Youth justice conferencing
Youth justice conferencing is a program which has been running in New
South Wales, Australia, since the late 1990s. These conferences are an
alternative to sentencing by a children's court magistrate and bring a young
person who has pleaded guilty to an offence into a face-to-face meeting
with the victim (or a victim's representative), support people for the young
person and victim (family, friends, perhaps a social worker or teacher) and
police (typically a youth liaison officer but also, on occasion, the arresting
officer or, if relevant, an ethnic/indigenous community liaison officer).
The convenor of the conference has no direct judicial or law enforcement
role but is a citizen acting in a private capacity (convenors are, however,
trained and contracted by the NSW Department of Juvenile Justice). The
purpose of the conference is to review the offence and its repercussions,
and to broker an "outcome plan" according to which the young person
agrees to undertake various reparative actions such as unpaid work in a
community organisation (these outcome plans do go back to the children's
court magistrate for final ratification).
The program is broadly comparable to legal processes in many other
jurisdictions (eg. "family group conferencing" in New Zealand, "victim-
offender mediation" in North America and Europe, "circle
sentencing/Koori Court" in Australia) which have been widely promoted
in recent decades as part of a more general "restorative justice" reform
movement. For proponents of such reforms, crime is conceived not simply
1 We are indebted to Chris Cleirigh and Jane Pong for help with the analyses
reported here. We also gratefully acknowledge the support of the Australian
Research Council through its Discovery Grants program.
42 Chapter Four
as law-breaking but as "a violation of people and relationships", hence
justice is considered less a matter of retribution/punishment and more an
effort to involve "the victim, the offender and the community in a search
for solutions which promote repair, reconciliation, and reassurance" (Zehr
1990, 181). While the links which some commentators (Braithwaite 1997;
Weitekamp 1999) have made between contemporary restorative justice
programs and traditional forms of dispute settlement in indigenous
communities around the world have been contested (Cuneen 2002; Blagg
2008), conferencing has at least proved "flexible and accommodating
toward cultural differences" (Daly 2001, 65) and its early development in
New Zealand was certainly seen as part of a wider political response to the
over-representation of young Maori and Pacific Islander people in the
criminal justice system (Maxwell and Morris 1993). Studies of Australian
conferencing programs have suggested that they may help lower
recidivism rates and have also found that offenders and victims generally
report high levels of satisfaction with the process (Palk et al. 1998;
Trimboli 2000; Strang et al. 1999).
Criminologists and social psychologists have made a number of claims
regarding the nature of the social interaction which "restores justice" in
conferencing, invoking such concepts as "social bond threats", "collective
vulnerability" or "reintegrative shaming" (Retzinger and Scheff 1996;
Moore and McDonald 2001; Braithwaite 1989; Ahmed et al. 2001). As
specialists in functional linguistics, social semiotics and performance
studies, our aim is to look closely at the verbal and non-verbal interaction
within youth justice conferences in order to describe the way in which
meaning is negotiated among participants. In this paper we report on some
of our preliminary work on genre and exchange structure and draw on
Bernstein's notion of pedagogic discourse to frame our interpretation of
what is going on.
2. Generic structure
The current model of youth justice conferencing in New South Wales is a
designed genre which borrows elements from a model trialled in Wagga
Wagga in 1991 (with police as convenors) as well as from the New
Zealand family group conferencing model developed in the 1980s (Daly
2001 offers an account of this history). Convenors are trained to
implement this design and, as part of this training, are provided with a
synopsis of what are considered the major steps in a conference, along
with suggested questions/prompts to use. Whether convenors should stick
Negotiating Shame
43
to these prompts as a kind of script or whether they should be freely
adapting them is a matter of debate within the restorative justice field
(Moore and McDonald 2000; Hoyle et al. 2002). The analysis presented
here draws on participant-observation of 4 convenor training workshops
conducted by staff of the NSW Department of Juvenile Justice and our
observations of 10 conferences (of which 5 were documented on video and
have been transcribed).
Technically speaking, conferencing is a macro-genre (Martin and Rose
2008), involving a series of elemental genres, each of which appears to
have its own recurrent configurations of meaning and staging according to
the task involved. We offer the following as a provisional characterisation
of these elements (parentheses indicate optional elements):
gathering
legal framing
commissioned recount of the offence
exploring consequences for various parties
(apologies and acknowledgments)
tabling possible remedies
(break and private negotiations)
brokering a collective agreement
ratification of outcome plan
(apologies and acknowledgments)
formal closing
(shared refreshments)
dispersal
Before the conference "proper" can begin (when participants are seated in
a circle), there must be some period of gathering during which roles and
expectations are already being negotiated (convenors, when interviewed,
have often commented on the effects of how participants choose to dress
and, sometimes, on the need to "stage-manage" the order in which
participants arrive at the venue). This is followed by an episode during
which the conference is constituted as a legal process, with confirmation
of, among other things, the offender's admission of guilt. This is succeeded
by a series of recounts and rejoinders by various parties, establishing from
different perspectives the events leading up to and constituting the offence,
and exploring their repercussions. Often, the convenor will return at this
point to the young offender and ask if there is "anything else" they want to
say to any of the other conference participants (an implicit invitation to
make an apology, which is not always taken up). Participants are
44 Chapter Four
encouraged to make some initial suggestions for an outcome plan. They
are offered a break, during which the different parties (associated with the
offender and victim, respectively) can consider more concrete proposals.
When the participants are brought back into the circle by the convenor,
these proposals are collectively discussed and, following verbal
agreement, the details are written up and read back to the group. Where
the outcome plan explicitly requires an apology, this can sometimes be
made on the spot. This is followed by a formal closing, the option of
shared refreshments and dispersal. We have documented some variation in
the sequence of participants' recounts and rejoinders; and some convenors
have already canvassed in some detail the major elements of an outcome
plan in pre-conference meetings with the different parties so that the break
becomes a time for filling out paperwork (documents to go back to the
children's magistrates court, participant survey forms etc.).
We are currently working towards a more precise functional labelling
of the elemental genres described above. Legal framing, for instance, has a
very recognisable configuration of meanings and predictable staging as
follows (^ signals sequence and freedom of sequence in this notation):
[Official welcome ^ Legal invocation ^ Role declaration ^ Goal
affirmation] . House-keeping
Even where participants have already introduced themselves to one
another upon arrival, convenors will offer an official welcome once
everyone is seated as a way of formally marking the start of proceedings.
The convenor will then invoke the NSW Young Offender's Act (YOA) as
the relevant legal framework for the conference.2
2 The Act contains various provisions regarding the confidential nature of
proceedings by which we, as researchers, are also bound. Under the terms of our
ethics protocol (approved by the NSW Attorney General), we are able to reproduce
portions of transcript only where names of participants, localities or other
identifying features are absent.
Participants will be
asked, one by one, to state their name and role. This stage can sometimes
appear quite stilted. For instance, while the YOA prefers the term "young
person" to "young offender", we are yet to hear the formula "I'm X and I'm
the person who did Y" spontaneously produced by a young person at the
start of a conference. Similarly, we have observed reluctance on the part of
police officers, who have sometimes been punched, kicked or spat upon by
a young person, to introduce themselves as a "victim" unless prompted
very explicitly to do so by the convenor. The convenor will then offer a
brief gloss of what the conference is meant to achieve. Finally, "House-
Negotiating Shame
45
keeping" covers such matters as the convenor pointing out to people where
the nearest toilets are, offering people a glass of water and so on. Overall,
this period in a conference tends to involve frequent tacking back and forth
by the convenor between talk which emphasises the formal legal status of
proceedings (where participants have roles and obligations) and talk which
seems to be more about "knocking the sharp edges off the law", intimating
that conference participants have assembled with at least some common
purposes in mind.
The first account of the offending behaviour which is given in a
conference (and the main focus for the rest of this paper) is what we have
labelled a Commissioned Recount because it typically has to be
"extracted" from a less than forthcoming adolescent by the convenor. It
has the following structure (parentheses in the notation signal an optional
element of structure):
Orientation ^ Record of events ^ (Re-Orientation) ^ (Extension) ^
Interpretation ^ Ramifications
This genre begins with an Orientation which sets the recount in time and
space and introduces the main participants; it continues with a Record of
events, which presents the sequence of events leading up to and
constituting the offence from the young person's perspective; the next
stage, Re-Orientation is optional and wraps up the recount and returns
participants from reconstructed past events to the spatio-temporal setting
of the conference itself; this is followed by an optional Extension stage
which a convenor may deploy to elicit a fuller account from the young
person3
; in the following Interpretation stage the recount is evaluated, as
emotions and social values in relation to the offence are explored; finally
in the Ramifications stage, some of the pertinent consequences of the
offence are canvassed. The first three stages of one example of this genre
are presented below (for its relation to other story genres see Martin and
Rose 2008).
Orientation
Yeah, I was, I was walking to a mate's house.
Record of events
This guy just came up to me
3 Convenors have read the police record of events, and have met with the police,
young person and victim/s before the conference, and so are fairly familiar with the
offence.
46 Chapter Four
and goes "Do you want to buy a phone?"
and I go "No"
and I go "Do you want to swap?"
[inaudible] want to swap with my phone
and he looked at my phone
and he goes "Yeah"
and we swap
and I went and stayed at my mate's house
and when it came to night time I was going back home,
and we was walking, was walking up the road
and the police just came and got us.
Re-orientation
That's it.
A monologue text of this kind is unrepresentative of the very interactive
nature of the conference as a whole, which is overwhelmingly dialogic.
For example, the Extension stage for this recount proceeds much more
interactively as follows:
Convenor: And then what happened? They came and got
you. They found the phone. What did they say to
you?
Young person: They go that this phone was stolen
Convenor: OK. What did you say?
Young person: I go, you know, I swapped it. Yeah, they just
took took me.
Convenor: Took you where?
Young person: Police station
Convenor: And who did they ring when they brought you
to the police station?
Young person: My dad.
In order to appreciate the nature of this interactivity, we need to turn from
genre to exchange structure (drawing on Martin and Rose 2003/2007).
Negotiating Shame
47
3. Exchange structure
The dialogue analysis deployed here is based on systemic functional
linguistic (hereafter SFL) research across a range of registers (including
classroom interaction, quiz shows, service encounters and casual
conversation (Berry 1981a, 1981b; Ventola 1987; Martin 1992, 2000;
Martin and Rose 2003/2007). The NEGOTIATION system is situated on the
discourse semantic stratum, in the interpersonal metafunction; as such it
plays a role in construing social relations of power and solidarity (tenor) in
social context, and is in turn realised through MOOD, MODALITY, POLARITY
and VOCATION options in lexicogrammar (Halliday and Matthiessen 2004)
and TONE choices in phonology (Halliday and Greaves 2008). An outline
of the relevant systems is presented as Table 1.
REGISTER
DISCOURSE SEMANTICS
LEXICOGRAMMAR
PHONOLOGY
TENOR
power
(status)
solidarity
(contact)
NEGOTIATION
- speech function
- exchange
APPRAISAL
- engagement
- affect
- judgement
- appreciation
- graduation
INVOLVEMENT
- naming
- technicality
- abstraction
- anti-language
- swearing
- mood
- tagging
- 'evaluative' lexis
- modal verbs
- modal adjuncts
- polarity
- pre/numeration
- intensification
- repetition
- manner; extent
- logico-semantics
- vocation
- proper names
- technical lexis
- specialised lexis
- slang
- taboo lexis
- idioms
- grammatical metaphor
- tone (& 'key')
- loudness
- pitch movement
- voice quality
- phonaesthesia
- [formatting]
- 'accent'...
- whisper...
- acronyms
- 'pig latins'
- secret scripts
Table 1: NEGOTIATION in relation to interacting interpersonal systems
48
Chapter Four
Negotiating Shame
49
Negotiation comprises a number of key oppositions, which we will briefly
review here. Along one dimension, it considers the commodity exchanged
- namely, knowledge or action (information or goods & services in
Halliday and Matthiessen's 2004 terms). Knowledge exchanges in other
words negotiate propositions, whereas action exchanges negotiate
proposals:
Knowledge exchanges (negotiating propositions)
Convenor: So did you commit the offences you are
charged with?
Young person: - Yes.
Action exchanges (negotiating proposals)
Convenor: I need you to speak a bit louder.
Young person: - OK.
Another dimension considers who is negotiating. For knowledge
exchanges, the primary knower (K1) is the person with ultimate authority
over the validity of the information exchanged and the secondary knower
(K2) is the person for whom that information is confirmed; for action
exchanges, the primary actor (A1) is the person who hands over goods or
performs a service (or promises to do so) and the secondary actor (A2) is
the person who receives the goods or for whom the service is performed.
Convenor: K2 So did you commit the offences?
Young person: K1 - Yes.
Convenor: A2 I need you to speak a bit louder.
Young person: A1 - OK.
Next there is the question of who initiates the exchange. For knowledge
exchanges, this may be the primary knower, asking a question about
information on which they are in fact the ultimate authority; exchanges of
this kind thus require a third move, where this authority is actualised. This
kind of initiating move is referred to as Dk1, with 'D' for delay since the
move which actualises authority is in effect delayed while the person
questioned offers a response. This kind of initiation is familiar to most of
us from quiz shows and classroom interaction (ELO stands for Ethnic
Liason Officer in the examples below).
50 Chapter Four
ELO: Dk1 Mate, what's your mum wearing on
her head?
Young person: K2 - Scarf.
ELO: K1 - Yeah.
Alternatively, a knowledge exchange can be initiated by the secondary
knower, asking a genuine question to which they do not themselves know
the answer:
Convenor: K2 Does your mum wear a scarf?
Young person: K1 - Yeah.
Or the primary knower can initiate an exchange by simply asserting the
information they control:
Young person: K1 My mum wears a scarf.
Similarly for action exchanges, there are comparable points of departure.
The secondary actor can delay handing over goods or performing a service
by first checking if the goods or service are desired:
Convenor: Da1 Would you like some water?
Young person: A2 - Yes please.
Convenor: A1 - Here you go.
Alternatively, the secondary actor can initiate the exchanges, demanding
goods or services:
Young person: A2 Can I have some water please?
Convenor: A1 - Here you go.
Or the primary actor can initiate, by proferring goods or performing a
service.
Convenor: A1 Here's some water (handing it over).
Note that in all cases the K1/A1 move is obligatory and nuclear. It can be
optionally followed up by the secondary knower/actor:
Negotiating Shame
51
ELO: K2 How does that make our community
look?
Young person: K1 - Worse.
ELO: K2f - It does, doesn't it?
Convenor: A2 I need you to speak a bit louder.
Young person: A1 - OK.
Convenor: A2f - Thanks.
And if there is a follow-up, then this can be acknowledged by the primary
knower/actor:
ELO: K2 How does that make our community
look?
Young person: K1 - Worse.
ELO: K2f - It does, doesn't it?
Young person: K1f - Yes.
Convenor: A2 I need you to speak a bit louder.
Young person: A1 - OK.
Convenor: A2f - Thanks.
Young person: A1f - No problem.
The generalised structure potential (using the same notation as for genre
structure above) is thus:
((Dx1) ^ X2) ^ X1 ^ (X2f ^ (X1f))
This can be further specified for knowledge and action exchanges:
((Dk1) ^ K2) ^ K1 ^ (K2f ^ (K1f))
((Da1) ^ A2) ^ A1 ^ (A2f ^ (A1f))
The model thus allows for exchanges consisting of between 1 and 5
moves. The options considered here are consolidated in a system network
in Fig. 1 (in this diagram, curly brackets mean 'and' and square brackets
'or'; there are thus three simultaneous systems, each of which allows for a
further choice for one of its options).
Figure 1: negotiation systems
52
Chapter Four
Negotiating Shame
53
In order to operationalise a model of this kind for text analysis we also
need to allow for move complexes, where an element of exchange
structure is realised by more than one move, one simply rephrasing the
other:
ELO: K2 Who went and visited you?
K2 Who went and saw you there?
Young person: K1 - No-one.
ELO: A2 You show me where in the Koran it
says...
A2 You show me where.
A2 Tell me where.
...
In addition, we need to acknowledge tracking and challenging moves,
which interrupt or at times block the culmination of exchange structure.
By and large tracking moves clarify experiential meaning (the content that
is being negotiated):
ELO: K2 Any of your friends go?
Young person: tr - At the police station?
ELO: rtr - Yeah.
Young person: K1 - No.
Challenging moves function as resistance to the interpersonal trajectory
of an exchange, frustrating and at times derailing completely the
cooperative culmination of an exchange:
ELO: K2 You respect your mum?
Young person: K1 - Yes.
ELO: ch - No, you don't.
54 Chapter Four
4. Issues arising from youth justice conferencing exchange
analysis
As ever in text analysis, idealised models such as that just presented for
exchange structure face challenges of interpretation. At times it appears
that obligatory moves are inferred rather than explicitly instantiated. In
the following exchange, the ELO doesn't in fact play the K1 move
predicted by his Dk1, but opts instead to imply its presence by asking a
genuine question (K2) which takes it as given (YP stands for Young
person in the examples from this point on):
ELO: Dk1 Does religion say you can do what you just did?
YP: K2 - No.
Ø
ELO: [K1]/K2 So why you contradicting the religion for?
In such cases the ELO's second move functions as a conflation of a K1
move closing one exchange and a K2 move opening another. Without such
inferencing, the negotaition would have proceeded as follows:
ELO: Dk1 Does religion say you can do what you just did?
YP: K2 - No.
ELO: K1 - No it doesn't.
ELO: K2 So why you contradicting the religion for?
Another pattern of ellipsis we encountered involved the ELO answering
his own Dk1 move, without waiting for an intervening K2 move from the
YP. So the first exchange below unfolds predictably:
ELO: Dk1 What uniform are they wearing?
YP: K2 - Police uniform.
ELO: K1 - OK.
But in the following exchange, perhaps because he realises he has asked a
question the YP cannot answer, the ELO, after a slight pause, moves from
his Dk1 directly to his K1 move:
ELO: Dk1 Where are these people from?
YP: Ø -
ELO: K1 - They're from a certain place.
Negotiating Shame
55
Adjustments of both kinds are part and parcel of dialogic communication
in real time and have been usefully discussed along various dimensions in
Ventola 1987 and Eggins and Slade 1997/2005. As part of this discussion
Ventola (1987, 90) notes that "...okay may frequently appear as a
responding pair to a statement [... t]his has to do with the fact that in
service encounters giving information is treated as a 'linguistic service'".
The problem here is that words normally indexing an exchange of goods
and services (e.g. please, Okay, thanks) function as moves in what
otherwise appear to be knowledge exchanges:
K2 What's the time please?
K1 - Two thirty.
K2f - Okay, thanks.
Ventola (1987, 117) suggests double-coding exchanges of this kind as an
action exchange conflated with a knowledge exchange, warning that "In
future work how expansive the phenomenon of linguistic services in
various genres is needs to be explored."
A2:LS [[K2]] What's the time please?
A1:LS [[K1]] - Two thirty.
A2f:LS [[K2f]] - Okay, thanks.
Comparable phenomena are in fact very common in youth justice
conferencing, which is clearly structured as a linguistic service by those in
charge (i.e. the Convenor and Liason Officers). The convenor for example
can be very directive when extracting the recount, treating the re-telling as
a task to be performed:
Convenor: What I want you to do now is I need you to tell us in a
really loud voice what happened on that particular day. Alright? So I
want you to tell me everything that happened on that day that led to
you being stopped by the police with the telephone. OK? Can you do
that for us? Thanks. Off you go.
Convenor: You need to tell us why you took the phone.
Convenor: Tell me what happened when Mum found out what you
did.
56 Chapter Four
Similarly, in the following examples, an ELO constructs answers to his
probing questions as a service to be performed on his behalf by the YP:
ELO: What are you doing; I'm asking you M.
ELO: You tell me what you think.
ELO: You tell me brother how its part of our our culture or our
religion or our tradition to do things like that.
This structuring may be prospective, as in the examples just reviewed,
which are oriented to what the YP is supposed to do. Or it may be
retrospective, ratifying a service which has been performed:
YP I was going to a mate's house and I was [inaudible] and I
was walking with him. This guy just came up to me and
he goes "Do you want to buy this phone?"
Convenor OK, can I stop you just for one second...
Convenor They found the phone and what did they say to you?
YP They go that this phone was stolen.
Convenor OK. What did you say?
YP I go, you know, "I swapped it."
Convenor Yeah.
YP And they just took me.
Convenor Took you where?
YP The police station.
Convenor OK. And who did they ring when they brought you to
the police station.
YP My dad.
Convenor OK. ...
This on-going co-construction of what are essentially knowledge
exchanges as linguistic action is part of a syndrome of features which
raises questions about the status of youth justice conferences as a form of
pedagogic discourse, to which we now turn.
Negotiating Shame
57
5. Pedagogic discourse
Bernstein (1990, 183) defines pedagogic discourse as "the rule which
embeds a discourse of competence (instructional discourse) into a
discourse of social order (regulative discourse)...". What he is exploring
here is the relation between the discourse of the subjects being taught in
school (e.g. science, history, mathematics) and the discourse used to teach
them (including control of student behaviour and the pacing, sequencing
and evaluation of what is learned). Fundamental to his argument is the
idea that "the regulative discourse is the dominant discourse... because it is
the moral discourse that creates the criteria which give rise to character,
manner, conduct, posture..." (Bernstein 1996, 48). As a consequence, the
discourses of the subjects being taught are always recontextualised
discourses, taken out of the contexts in which they are professionally
deployed and re-worked into the moral order of schools. In his terms, the
purpose of the device is "to provide a symbolic ruler for consciousness."
(Bernstein 1996, 50) Christie develops this work in her analysis of
classroom discourse, preferring Halliday's notion of projection to
Bernstein's embedding: "The first order or regulative register, it will be
argued, 'projects' a second order or instructional register." (Christie 2002,
25) Developing the notion that pedagogic discourse is not restricted to
school settings; Muntigl develops the concept for relationship counselling
discourse: "I shall argue that the narrative counselling discourse interview
[...] includes both a regulative and instructional register. Regulation
involves the degree to which the client's social actions are managed by the
counsellor [... t]he instructional register [...] involves [...] the ways in
which the clients are meant to construe experience [...] it is by regulating
clients' verbal behaviour that a certain view of problems and their
influences becomes possible." (Muntigl 2004, 124)
Rephrasing this with respect to the model of language and social
context assumed in this paper, we can argue that regulative discourse is in
effect a genre (coordinating the register variables field, tenor and mode)
which projects a recontextualised field of social integration intended to re-
align the YP with the values of his or her family, ethnic group and
community and diminish the relatively malign influence of peers. With
youth justice conferencing what we appear to have is a pedagogic
discourse constituted by an evolving legal genre projecting a discourse of
social responsibility; this evolution reflects the genesis of the genre in the
concerns of both the criminal justice and social work systems (Cuneen and
White 2007). The regulatory dimension of this pedagogic discourse
reveals itself, in part, through the construal of the interaction by convenors
58 Chapter Four
and liason officers as linguistic servicing. A crude visualisation of the
projection principle involved here is outlined in Fig. 2 below.
Figure 2: Regulative discourse projecting integrative discourse in youth
justice conferencing
Reconceived in these terms, it's not surprising that exchanges in youth
justice conferences can be interpreted as both knowledge and action. From
the perspective of regulatory discourse, they organise the social order
realised through both genre and exchange structure:
Speaker
Talk
Regulative
Convenor
So what I need you to do is admit you're guilty.!
A2!
Young
person
OK. [nods]
! A1!
And from the perspective of integrative discourse, they establish the
parameters whereby the YP can be re-affiliated with relevant
communities:
Speaker
Talk
Integrative
Convenor
You've already admitted your guilt to this
offence and you're here of your own free will?!K2!
Young person
Yep. [nods]
!
K1
!
Convenor
Yep?!
K2f!
The conference exchange which the two preceding examples are based on
actually proceeded as follows, with both regulatory and integrative work
going on:
integrative discourse
regulative discourse
Negotiating Shame
59
Speaker
Talk
Regulative
Integrative
Convenor
So what I need you to do is
!
A2
!
!
<<you've already admitted your
guilt to this offence !A1!K2!
and you're here of your own free
will?>>
!! !
Young
person
Yep. [nods]
!!K1!
Convenor
Yep?
!!
K2f
!
OK
A2f
!
!
The reason so much of the data resembles Ventola's linguistic services is
that the conferences are pedagogic discourses with regulation projecting
integration. Accordingly we double-code many exchanges as both action
and knowledge negotiating interactions. For ease of representation, we lay
out with regulatory moves to the left (column 3) and integrative
knowledge moves to the right (column 6); each exchange is numbered to
the left of each analysis (columns 2 and 5), and turns are designated in
column 1. The example just reviewed, along with two succeeding
exchanges, is presented along these lines below. The Convenor's
prospective "OK" moves, designed to facilitate the exchange by
encouraging a response from the YP, have been labelled "invite" moves1
1 Inviting moves are a kind of dynamic move, not canvassed in Ventola (1987) or
Martin (1992).
.
There are two moves which explicitly solicit the events of the recount and
which have been labelled K2 in the integrative discourse column.
60 Chapter Four
Speaker
RE#
Regulative
Talk
IE#
Integrative
C
2
A2…
What I want you
to do now is I
need you to tell us
in a really loud
voice,
invite
<<OK?>>
YP
A1
[nods]
C
…A2
what happened on
that particular day.
2 K2
A2f
Alright
3
A2
so I want you to
tell me everything
that happened on
that day that led to
you being stopped
by the police with
the telephone.
3
K2
invite
OK?
YP A1 [nods]
C
4
A2
Can you do that
for us?
YP
A1
[nods]
C
A2f
Thanks.
Laid out along these lines, the YP offers the first part of his recount as a
linguistic service in response to the Convenor's Off you go move, a service
she then thanks him for - OK. From the perspective of the projected
integrative discourse, this move complex is treated as a series of K1
moves. In the tables which follow exchanges have been numbered
sequentially as they unfold in the conference; repeated moves within an
exchange constitute move complexes.
Negotiating Shame
61
Speaker
RE#
Regulative
Talk
IE#
Integrative
C!
5!
A2!Off you go.!
3!
!
YP!A1!
I was- I was going to
a mate's house
!K1!
C!
A1!
Yep. [nods]!
bch!
YP!
A1!
And [inaudible]!
K1!
A1!
and I was walking
with him.
!K1!
A1!
This guy just came
up to me
!K1!
A1!
and he goes "Do you
want to buy this
phone?"
!
K1!
C
!
A2f
!
OK
!! !
The next set of exchanges is purely regulatory2
in function, encouraging
the YP to speak louder for the benefit of the Youth Liaison Officer and
perhaps for the benefit of our recording crew. There are two "missing"
verbalisations of A1 moves, one in exchange 6 since the YP in fact stops
talking when interrupted by the Convenor rather than verbally agreeing to,
and one in exchange 11 where the Convenor simply assumes the YP will
agree to speak up.
Speaker
RE# Regulative Talk IE#
Integrative
C!
6!A2!
Can I just stop you for
one second?!! !
7
!
K1
!
I'm sorry.
!! !
8!K1!
Julie has a problem
with her hearing at the
moment.!
! !
9
!
K1
!
Her ears are blocked
!! !
10
!
K1
!
so she can't [inaudible]
!! !
11!
A2!
So she needs you to
speak a bit louder.
!! !
invite
!
OK?
!! !
A2f!
Thank you.
!! !
Thanks YP.
!! !
2 Note that this regulatory phase includes both knowledge and action moves; the
knowledge moves explain why the Convenor is requesting the Young Person to
speak up.
62 Chapter Four
The young person then resumes his testimony through a long relatively
monologic series of K1 move complexes, at the end of which the
Convenor invites some more and is challenged by the YP's closure - That's
it. The K1 moves are supported by two non-verbal tracking moves (back-
channels realised by a nod of the head), and finally with a K2f.
Speaker
RE#
Regulative
Talk
IE#
Integrative
YP!! !
Yeah, I was, I was
walking to a mate's
house.!4!K1!
C
!! !
[nods]
!
bch
!
YP!
! !
This guy just came
up to me!
5!
K1!
! !
and goes "Do you
want to buy a
phone?"
!
K1!
! !
and I go "No"
!
K1
!
! !
and I go "Do you
want to swap
[inaudible] want to
swap with my
phone?"!
K1!
! !
and he looked at my
phone
!K1!
! !
and he goes "Yeah"!
K1!
! !
and we swap
!
K1
!
! !
and I went and
stayed at- at my
mate's house!
K1!
! !
and when it came to
night time I was
going back home,
!
K1!
! !
and we was walking,
was walking me up
the road!
K1!
C!! ! [nods]!bch!
YP!! !
and the police just
came and got us.
!K1!
C!
12!
invite!
Oh, OK. [nods]!
K2f!
YP
!
ch
!
That's it.
!! !
In these examples and those which follow, we've included as part of the
regulatory discourse any moves explicitly structuring the genre or
Negotiating Shame
63
exchange structure, along with any moves they prospectively prompt or
retrospectively construe as a linguistic service.
6. Joint construction
The close readings of exchange structure outlined above allow us to make
precise observations about the contributions made by different participants
in youth justice conferences. The Extension stage of the commissioned
recount, for example, is much more interactive than the Record of events.
The convenor assumes a leading role, initiating exchanges in relation to
aspects of the offence she wants tabled at this meeting:
Speaker
RE#
Regulative Talk IE# Integrative
C!
13!
[A1]!
And then what
happened?
!6!K2!
YP![A1]!They found the phone.!K1!
C![A1]!
They came and got
you.
!7!K1!
YP![A1]!Yeah. [nods]!K2f!
C!
[A1]
!
They found the phone.
!
8
!
K1
!
[A1]!
and what did they say
to you?!
9!
K2!
YP![A1]!
They go that this phone
was stolen.!K1!
C!
A2f
!
[nods] OK.
!
bch
!
! ! What did you say?!
10!
K2!
YP!! !
I go, you know, [rubs
face] "I swapped it".
!K1!
C
!! !
Yeah,
!
K2f
!
YP
!! !
and they just took me.
!
11!
K1
!
C!
14!
[A1]!Took you where?!cl!
YP![A1]!The police station!rcl!
C!A2f!OK. [nods]!bch!
The Interpretation stage proceeds along similar lines, with the convenor
orchestrating the evaluation of events. She explores the emotional
reactions of those involved, including the young person's family:
64 Chapter Four
Speaker
RE#
Regulative
Talk
IE#
Integrative
C!
15!
[A1]!
And who did they ring
when they brought you
to the police station?
!12!K2!
YP!
[A1]!
My dad.!
K1!
C!
A2f
!
OK.
!! !
! !
And what did your dad
say?!13!K2!
16!
[A1]!Was he angry, happy?!
14!
K2!
YP
!
[A1]
!
[nods] Angry.
!
K1
!
C!
[A1]
!
Angry. [laughs]
!
K2f
!
A2f
!
Yeah. OK.
!
K2f
!
Questions of moral responsibility are also raised:
Speaker
RE#
Regulative
Talk
IE#
Integrative
C!! !
Did you- Did you
realise that this
phone was stolen?!15!
K2!
YP
!! !
[nods]
!
K1
!
C!
! !
You did.
!
K2f
!
! !
So why did you
take it if you
realised it was
stolen?!
16!K2!
YP!! ! [inaudible]!K1!
C!
17!
A2!
[bobs head] You
need to tell us why
you took the phone.!17!
K2!
YP
!
A1
!
Because it was new.
!
K1
!
C!
A1
!
Because it was new.
!
K2f
!
A1
!
Newer than yours.
!18!
K2
!
YP!
A1!
[nods] Yeah.!
K1!
C!! !
So you didn't care
that it was
somebody else's
phone?
!19!
K1!
18!
invite!
Is that right?!
!
YP
!
[A1]
!
Yeah.
!
K2f
!
C
!
A2f
!
OK
!! !
As far as the convenor is concerned, the general pattern is one in which
she enacts a highly visible regulatory discourse, managing both global
Negotiating Shame
65
genre staging and local exchange structure. The convenor initiates all
knowledge exchanges as a secondary knower (K2 moves). Since she is
familiar with the police report, these are however rather calculated K2
moves, topologically closer to Dk1 moves in contexts where the secondary
knower has less idea what the answer to questions could be. Significantly,
interpretation of the recount is jointly constructed with the convenor in
control; she introduces virtually all evaluation and the young person
responds a word or phrase at a time.
Interpretation of the impact of the recount is of course crucial to the
projected integrative discourse in youth justice conferences, since this is
where attempts are made to distance the young person from the circle of
mates leading him astray and re-align him with the values of the
community at large, his ethnic group and family. In the second conference
we consider in this paper, a Muslim ethnic liaison officer intervenes to
extend the convenor's interpretation, apparently out of frustration with his
reading of its integrative effectiveness to that point in the conference. He
begins by focusing attention on the young person's mother's headscarf
(hijab), which in Australia is a highly visible and politicised symbol of
membership in the Muslim community:
Speaker
RE#
Regulative
Talk
IE#
Integrative
ELO!
1!
A2!
Listen, I want
to take, with
your
permission, I
wanna take a
different
angle.!
!
!
ELO!invite!OK (2)?!!!
ELO
!
2
!
[A1]
!
Mate, what's
your mum
wearing on
her head?
!1!
Dk1
!
YP!
[A1]!
Scarf.!
K2!
ELO
!
[A1]
!
Yeah.
!
K1
!
ELO
!
A2f
!
OK (3).
!!!
He then focuses on the mother having to attend the conference, in the
presence of three uniformed police officers (and in the following exchange
sequence, members from the wider community - i.e. the two members of
our research team who are observing the conference):
66 Chapter Four
Speaker RE# Regulative
Talk IE# Integrative
ELO
!! !
What a- where is she
now?
!
2!
Dk1…
!
ELO
!! !
In the presence of
who?
!
YP!! ! = Me.!K2!
ELO
!! !
= Who- who's-
!
...Dk1
!
ELO!! ! No!ch!
ELO
!! !
who's sitting here?
!
3
!
Dk1
!
ELO
!! !
Who's sitting here
right now?
!
Dk1
!
ELO
!
3!
A2
!
Have a look across.
!!
YP![A1]!Men.!K2!
ELO
!
4
!
A2
!
Have a- but have a
look across
!!!
ELO
!
[A1]
!
what uniform are
they wearing?
!4!
Dk1
!
YP!
[A1]!
Police uniform.!
K2!
ELO!
A2f!
OK (3).!
[K1]!
The ELO then explicitly makes the point that the young person is creating
a bad impression for the Muslim community3
3 This was a sensitive issue in Australia at the time, since the conservative
government of that era (led by John Howard) was manipulating racist sentiment in
support of its pro-American foreign policy (including membership of the “coalition
of the willing” in Iraq; in Sydney this laid the ground for an outburst of racial
tension in Cronulla (the so-called “Cronulla riots”), involving violent conflict
between young members of the Lebanese migrant and self-appointed “local”
“Australian” communities and the bashing of innocent bystanders of “Middle
Eastern appearance”.
; his behaviour doesn't just
affect himself, but his family and his ethnic group as well:
Negotiating Shame
67
Speaker
RE#
Regulative
Talk IE#
Integrative
ELO
!
5
!
[A1]
!
Where are these guys from?
!
5!
[K1]/Dk1
!
ELO
!
[A1]
!
They're from a certain
place.
!
K1
!
ELO
!
A2f
!
OK (3).
!!!
ELO
!! !
What's the perception going
to be?
!6!
Dk1
!
YP
!! !
Think bad of me.
!
K2
!
ELO!
6
!
[A1]!What are they gonna-!
7
!
[K1]/Dk1!
ELO
!
[A1]
!
when they see your mum
wearing a scarf,
!
Dk1…
!
ELO![A1]!
I'm Muslim background
myself.!<<K1>>!
ELO
!
[A1]
!
What are they going to
think?
!
...Dk1
!
YP!
[A1]!
Bad.!
K2!
ELO!
A2f!
OK (1).!
[K1]!
Later on this point is reinforced, with the ELO registering his extreme
disgust and embarrassment about the negative stereotyping that is being
reinforced:
Speaker
RE#
Regulative
Talk
IE#
Integrative
ELO
!
10
!
[A1]
!
Number two,
man, when I see
someone of my
own background
bringing their
mum in wearing
a hijab,
!
13!
K1…
!
ELO
!
A2f
!
OK,
!!
ELO!! !
honestly man
inside I feel sick.!...K1!
ELO
!
11!
K2
!
You understand?
!! !
YP
!
K1
!
Yes.
!! !
In this conference the ELO also makes explicit moves to distance the
young person from his mates, who have in fact invited him to be present at
a fight they have arranged with rivals:
68 Chapter Four
Speaker
RE#
Regulative
Talk
IE#
Integrative
ELO
!
7!
A2
!
I'm asking you
YP.
!!!
ELO
!
A2f
!
OK.
!! !
ELO
!
8
!
[A1]
!
Because I'm
listening to you
man
!
9!
K1
!
ELO![A1]!
and I don't see
you as a leader at
the moment.!K1!
ELO
!
[A1]
!
I see you
following your
friends.
!
K1
!
ELO
!
[A1]
!
I see your friends
say jump,
!
K1
!
ELO![A1]!
you say how
high.!K1!
ELO![A1]!
That's how I see
you.!
10!
K1!
ELO
!
A2f
!
OK.
!!
YP!! ! Yeah.!K2f!
ELO
!! !
You wanta be
tough.
!11!
K1
!
ELO
!! !
But you just-
you're not,
number one.
!
12!
K1
!
As with the convenor in the previous conference, once again there is a
highly visible regulative discourse, with the ELO controlling the
interaction. He initiates all knowledge exchanges - Dk1 and K1 moves
(but as primary, rather than secondary knower). And once again, the
interpretation of the commissioned recount is jointly constructed with the
ELO assuming more control than the convenor, and YP responding a word
or phrase at a time.
7. Restorative justice passion play or ritualised
integration?
In this paper we have concentrated in particular on an interpretation of
youth justice conferencing as a form of pedagogic discourse, with a
regulative discourse projecting an integrative one, and the kind of
Negotiating Shame
69
convenor/liaison officer-controlled interaction explicitly visible regulation
affords. This raises questions about the way in which youth justice
conferences facilitate, or not, the kind of projected integrative discourse
envisioned by restorative justice theorists. For John Braithwaite,
conferencing achieves restorative effects through "reintegrative" (rather
than "stigmatizing") shaming, that is "by communicating disapproval of an
act with respect, with special efforts to avert outcast identities and to
terminate disapproval with rituals of forgiveness or reconciliation"
(Ahmed et al. 2001, 39). Other theorists have downplayed the centrality of
shame (Morris 2002) or interpreted it more as a collective experience, a
"visceral reminder" to participants that they "can experience positive
emotions in each other's company" which thereby prompts a transition
towards cooperation and resolution (Moore and McDonald 2001, 138).
Nevertheless, a vision of conferencing as a kind of redemptive passion
play, with a "core sequence" of remorse, apology and forgiveness
(Retzinger and Scheff 1996), has remained largely intact in the restorative
justice literature. While we do not discount the possibility of such a
sequence occurring, and occurring as a very visceral experience, it has
only rarely been evident in the ten conferences we have observed thus far
in our research.
In this regard, we are struck by the recent re-examination of some
seminal evaluations of conferencing by the criminologist Hennessey
Hayes and the doubts he has raised about the restorative potential of the
genre; his most relevant comments can be summarised as follows:
Results of these major [research] projects, as well as results from the
various evaluations studies, are remarkably consistent and show that
offenders and victims view conferencing processes as fair and are
generally satisfied with the outcomes. However, there is less evidence
that shows conferences are also 'restorative' […] there may be marked
limits on how far conferences can go in repairing harm, inducing
remorse, and helping victims and offenders move on […] conferences
sometimes do not induce remorse, young offenders sometimes do not
feel sorry and offer an apology, and victims sometimes do not forgive
[...] in New Zealand, Maxwell and Morris observed [...] that […] 25%
of victims felt worse for having attended a conference, mainly because
'the victim did not feel that the young person and his or her family was
truly sorry'. (Hayes 2006, 370; 377-378)
In his paper Hayes reviews two sources of difficulty with the restorative
apology-forgiveness ideal. One is that there can be a drift from apologetic
70 Chapter Four
discourse to mitigating accounts, with the young person offering excuses
for their behaviour. The following exchange from our second conference
illustrates this point:
ELO: So if you don't like anybody dictating to you what to do
right, what gives you the right to go and hurt
other people?
YP: No right, but he hurt my mate...
Hayes' second point has to do with the presence of third parties (e.g.
convenor, liaison officers), so that "The youth justice conference process...
transforms the private act of apologising and offering forgiveness into a
public drama of restorative justice" (Hayes 2006, 379). To these
misgivings we can now add our observations about the dominant role of
the convenor and relatively passive role of the young person in exchange
structure. What kind of apology is possible when the young person's
participation is so heavily scaffolded?
That said, we do not mean to suggest that scaffolding is necessarily a
bad thing. On the contrary, given that youth justice conferencing is still an
emerging genre and a novel, typically one-off experience for most
participants (not to mention the low levels of literacy and fluency in
English of some of these participants), some form of scaffolding is clearly
essential. Furthermore, while the regulative discourse in conferencing
inscribes hierarchical power relations between participants, this is often
paired with close and certainly negotiable relations of solidarity. Indeed,
this readily observable tension between the vertical and horizontal
dimensions of tenor aligns with what we are beginning to think of as the
ritual-like, performative "force" of conferencing.
The public nature of conferencing renders the act of making an
apology difficult, yet one can understand the satisfaction that participants
might derive from what (following Turner 1969/2008) we could define as
ritualised redressive action designed to deal with the broader "social
drama" of juvenile delinquency. The conference—whether or not it
produces an apology and forgiveness—is an orderly convocation of
persons who present themselves to one another as citizens interested in
promoting orderly behaviour. At the very least, a victim's words are
attended to by an appropriately constituted "community of care". To do the
conference at all requires enacting, on the spot, some of the (re)integrative
effects it is hoped the conference might be able to foster in the longer
term: a young person is made to talk and to listen but is also given, then
and there, an opportunity to affiliate with his family, his ethnic group, the
Negotiating Shame
71
wider community (with the possible support of police liaison officers)
alongside, or in place of, his hitherto dominating affiliation with mates.
Who knows which affiliations will stick? The conference is still likely to
have emerged as a suitably formal legal process, though accessible to lay
persons, in and through which various preferred affiliations may be "re-
presented" or "modeled" (Handelman 1990). The opportunity for young
people, victims, their families, friends and police to affiliate simply in
relation to the doing of a conference is already a paradigm shift for
criminal justice systems which have for so long manifestly failed to
rehabilitate offenders and to meet the needs of victims.
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Scottsdale, PA: Herald Press.
... Tables 2 to 4 present a simplified version of the kind of exchange structure analysis we have adopted in our work in order to keep track of both regulative and integrative moves in conferencing discourse (for more detailed analysis and explanation of notation see Martin, Zappavigna and Dwyer 2009b). This approach to exchange analysis considers dialogue in terms of what is being negotiated by speakers, that is, whether they are initiating or responding to information or knowledge (K) (for instance, asking what the time is), or whether they are offering or demanding action (A) (for instance, asking for a drink of water) (Martin and Rose 2007). ...
... Often, however, we have observed a "small target" YP, that is, a YP who appears to want to say as little as possible to avoid becoming a target of criticism. Consequently, details and evaluation regarding the offense often have to be extracted from the YP by the convener (or sometimes other participants, for example, the police youth liaison officers) during the Commissioned Recount (Martin et al. 2009b). In this section we will explore some typically minimalist recounts of offending behavior that, nevertheless, support the construction of a compliant YP "genre identity" since both the young people involved willingly submit to an extension of their brief recount by answering additional questions proposed by the convener. ...
... 4. For a detailed analysis of regulative and integrative discourse in YJC in relation to exchange structure, see Martin et al. (2009b). ...
... The probing strategy used by Convenors in the Commissioned Recount (the genre in which the YP 'tells the story' of the offence 4 ) to elicit self-evaluation and expressions of remorse from the YP also draws on this rhetoric of invoking the mother's pain. Probing questions asking how the YP feels about his mother's pain where usually targeted at a YP who has given a 'small target' recount [15], that is, a very limited account of the offence with minimal experiential detail and often no evaluative language. They typically occur in the Extension stage of the Commissioned Recount with the Convenor initiating all of the knowledge exchanges and the YP responding a word of a phrase at a time. ...
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At the heart of Youth Justice Conferencing, a form of restorative justice aimed at addressing youth crime, is the notion that young persons who have committed an offence should be ‘reintegrated’ into their communities (Braithwaite in Crime, shame and reintegration. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1989). This paper focuses on the role of parents as support persons, in particular the ‘crying mum’, an identity often leveraged by the Convenor when prompting the young person to express remorse to the circle. We explore an Avouchment genre that we have observed whereby support persons vouch for the character of the young person. Our analysis considers the ways in which values are composed (as ideational categories are coupled with evaluative interpersonal ones) and unfold in discourse as invitations for participants to align. In Knight’s (2010) terms, when shared, couplings of ideation and evaluation engender bonds through which participants may commune.
Book
This ground-breaking book is a sequel to John Braithwaite's best-selling and influential Crime, Shame and Reintegration. It contributes to our understanding of shame in a theoretical sense, and through its detailed analysis of shame management in cases of drink-driving and school bullying, in a practical sense.It has two major theoretical outcomes: it develops an ethical-identity conception of shame, and a theory of reintegrative shame. Written by the key exponents of restorative justice and presenting important new research, the book is a major re-statement of the theory and practice of shaming