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‘Do you think it’s a crime?’ Building joint understanding of victimisation in calls for help

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journal contribution
posted on 08.07.2020 by Emma Tennent
© The Author(s) 2019. Society has a moral obligation to help victims, but who is recognised as a victim is a contentious issue. Social interaction is a key site where shared understandings of victimisation are built. This article analyses calls to a Victim Support helpline using conversation analysis and membership categorisation analysis. Callers described experiences of crimes to account for requesting help. Call-takers claimed the rights to describe and assess callers’ experiences in terms of institutional constraints. Call-takers disavowed the category crime to deny callers’ requests and ascribed the category crime to accountably offer help. Participants negotiated their respective rights to describe callers’ experiences and determine the kind of help needed. The analyses demonstrate how participants’ different understandings of victimisation were consequential for the delivery or withholding of support.

History

Preferred citation

(2019). ‘Do you think it’s a crime?’ Building joint understanding of victimisation in calls for help. Discourse and Society, 30(6), 636-652. https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926519870040

Journal title

Discourse and Society

Volume

30

Issue

6

Publication date

01/11/2019

Pagination

636-652

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Publication status

Published

Online publication date

14/08/2019

ISSN

0957-9265

eISSN

1460-3624

Article number

UNSP 0957926519870040

Language

en

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