Constructing a Productive Other: Discourse Theory and the Convention Refugee Hearing

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John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1994 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 272 pages
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This book is a description of the process of constructing a productive Other for the purpose of being admitted to Canada as a Convention refugee. The whole claiming procedure is analyzed with respect to two actual cases, and contextualized by reference to pertinent national and international jurisprudence. Since legal analysis is deemed insufficient for a complete understanding of the argumentative and discursive strategies involved in the claiming and “authoring” processes, the author makes constant reference to methodologies from the realm of literary studies, discourse analysis and interaction theory, with special emphasis upon the works of Marc Angenot, M.M. Bakhtin, Pierre Bourdieu, Erving Goffman, Jürgen Habermas and Teun van Dijk. In so doing, he illustrates a reductive movement that inevitably occurs in legal argumentation which results in the displacement the subject from the realm of “refugee claimant” to that of claimant as “diminished Other.”

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