Discourse Analysis -First Amendment Audits

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Discourse Analysis -First Amendment Audits

Postby justthedave » 04 May 2019 10:17

Since beginning my PhD journey I have become fascinated, need I say OBSESSESED, with observing verbal interaction.

I am especially interested in the manner that individuals interact with law enforcement officers during First Amendment Audits in the good ole USA. As one can imagine the US does not have the best track record for peace officers exhibiting the most professional behavior. Take a look at this link for greater insight into First Amendment Auditing https://www.youtube.com/results?search_ ... udits+2019

According to Wikipedia, "First Amendment Audits are an activity categorized by its practitioners, known as Auditors, as an American social movement of activism and citizen journalism claiming to test constitutional rights; in particular the right to photograph and video record in a public space."

I find this type of interaction most intriguing. I have access to the contact information for about three dozen First Amendment AUDITORS so I was thinking about doing a small discourse analysis project on some of their interactions with peace officers.

What do you think about this line of research?
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Re: Discourse Analysis -First Amendment Audits

Postby Richard » 07 May 2019 11:22

These look like potentially interesting interactions. I watched a couple - one just had a bland voiceover of what the person thought was happening, the other was an interaction with a police officer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y34e-HaZxPM&t=99s) - this was the shortest one which is why I watched it. In this video, the auditor seems to be a complete arsehole (this is a technical term in linguistics!) and the policeman was reasonable (and made a very valid point).

Viewing this as research, the key issue is what the focus would be. Do you see the research as primarily social (using linguistic evidence), or primarily linguistic (with social implications)?
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Re: Discourse Analysis -First Amendment Audits

Postby stevelouw » 21 May 2019 10:30

It strikes me that language in these videos is used either for conflict containment, or to aggravate and intimidate (like the arsehole in Richard's video). One example is how questions are posed and ignored by the interlocutors ("Do you have any ID?", "Why should I have any ID?"). Perhaps there is some implication here for studies on pragmatics, where the integrity of the dialogue is deprioritized in favor of questions revolving the hidden 'rights' agendas of the different parties involved. One has the right to intervene where a threat is identified, and the other has the right to invoke amendment audits, or express free speech, or something along those lines.

In this video I found (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNPiZ-DyEt0) a policeman arrests a passenger for not showing his ID. Both the policemen and the man in the video take the position that the law is on their side, and the dialogue is less about personal interaction than about countering law for law, and then the devolution into threats, calling out the threats, and yet all within fairly polite language (at least initially). While I was watching, I was impressed how the dialogue remained so firmly fixed in antogonistic stances, yet remained almost light-heartedly polite.
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