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Questions in Mediation: How Mediators Change their Language to Facilitate the Process of Mediation

Juergensmeyer, Krissy (2015)
Honors Thesis (96 pages)
Committee Chair / Thesis Adviser: Tamasi, Susan L
Committee Members: Hardy, Jack ; Gowler, David B ; Morey, James
Research Fields: Language, Linguisitcs
Keywords: Mediation; Language; Forensic Linguistics
Program: College Honors Program, Linguistics
Permanent url: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/pjkqf

Abstract

My study looks into the language of mediation and how mediators use particular language strategies in order to facilitate the process of mediation as well as the conversations held in mediation. This research focuses on how language is used in mediation, what particular language features are found in mediation as well as how mediators adapt to dynamically different mediations through their use of language. My research goes even further into identifying certain tools that mediators use in their language in order to better facilitate the discussions about disputes and issues between the individuals in conflict.

In order to look into the linguistic features and differences in mediation, I transcribed 16 hours of mock mediations and looked into the specific linguistic forms and features found in these transcripts. I used linguistic analysis theories including Conversation Analysis, different kinds of pragmatic features typical of conversations, as well as Speech Act Theory to analyze the uses and purposes of the different language uses within the mock mediations. My analyses showed that there are specific question categories that mediators use in different mediations for specific goals and purposes. These questions can be categorized and applied to specific situations in mediations. Furthermore my research showed that there are several linguistic features that underline the inclusiveness of the mediation, equal power between the parties in the mediation, as well as the all-inclusive and informal setting of mediations.

Table of Contents

1 INTRODUCTION...1

WHAT IS MEDIATION?...2
WHO IS THE MEDIATOR?...3
THE LANGUAGE OF MEDIATION...6
MEDIATOR'S ROLE...7

Mediation Strategies...9
Mediation Training...12

2 LITERATURE REVIEW...14

MEDIATION AS A CONVERSATION...15
LINGUISTICS AND PRAGMATICS...16

Speech Act Theory and Speech Acts...19
Questions...22
Reality Testing... 23

MEDIATION...24
MEDIATORS AND THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES...30
THE PROCESS OF MEDIATION...33

3 METHODS...37

RESEARCH QUESTION AND FOCUS...37
MOCK MEDIATION FILM SPECIFICS...40
LINGUISTICS ANALYSIS METHODS...45

4 ANALYSIS--THE LANGUAGE OF MEDIATION AND LINGUISTICS...50

OPEN-ENDED AND CLOSED QUESTIONS...53
DIVISION AND CATEGORIES OF QUESTIONS...56

Clarification Questions...57
Further Proposal Questions...59
Agreement Questions...61
Neutrality Question...64

EQUALITY NEUTRALITY AND THE LINGUISTICS OF MEDIATION...65
INFORMALITY AND EQUALIZING AUTHORITY LEVELS...66
NEUTRALITY...67
MEDIATOR SELF-REFERENCE...68
INCLUSIVE WE...71
REINFORCING THE PROCESS OF MEDIATION...73
SUMMARY OF RESULTS...76

5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION...77

DISCUSSION OF THE RESULTS...77
APPLICATION AND USES OF THE RESEARCH...81
CONCLUSION...83

6 WORKS CITED...85
7 APPENDIX A...88

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