The University of Arizona

A RELATIONAL APPROACH TO TELEVISED SMALL CLAIMS COURTS: THE CONSTRUCTION OF FUNCTIONAL IDENTITIES

Sharon Deckert

Abstract


This paper will argue that individuals  who  participate  in  televised  small  claims  courts  use relational approaches to construct their arguments. In particular, it  will  claim  that  they  access  cultural conceptions of relationships to  co-construct  functional  identities  of  participants  that  are  then used in the judge's decision about who did what to whom. Participants co-construct these functional identities by using processes such as categorization and indexing.  ln this  way, participants in the courtroom access larger social structures in the process of constructing relational arguments.


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