A Socio pragmatic Study of Police Power in Selected American Police Interviews
Keywords:Socio pragmatics, Police Interviews, Power, Police Power.
The present study examines power as an influential social variable in three selected American police interviews with three suspects: George Huguely, Bryan Greenwell, and Lee Rodarte. The study aims at identifying the most and least exploited power strategies by police interviewers, the statistically significant differences between the various power strategies, and the devices that manifest each power strategy. In association with the aims, the study sets out three hypotheses: (1) recycling topics is the most frequent strategy while minimization is the least utilized by police interviewers, (2) significant differences can be noticed among the various police power strategies, and (3) each power strategy is manifested in discourse by specific devices, such as questions and politeness. To achieve the aims and verify these hypotheses, the study develops a model consisting of two layers for the analysis. The first layer is composed of police power strategies that serve as an umbrella for the model. The second layer is based on N Fairclough (1992) and Heffer models and is composed of the devices that manifest the power strategies in discourse. Based on the findings, the study concludes that: (1) topic control has recorded the highest rank whereas maximization has achieved the lowest in terms of police power strategies, (2) there are no statistically significant differences between police power strategies in impact, which suggests that all power strategies are effectively used, and (5) six devices are utilized by police interviewers to manifest their strategies including questions, politeness, formulation, topic management, interruption, and hedges.