Tools for the Analysis of Police Interviews

  • Georgina Heydon


The approach to the analysis described in this chapter was specifically designed as a multi-layered or ‘staged’ response to the aims of this book. Thus, in subsequent chapters, we will be using the analytic tools described here in order to:
  • provide a descriptive framework of police-suspect interviews based on linguistic devices and interactional features used in recordings of thirteen police interviews with suspects;

  • analyse this description of the interviews and reveal the conversational strategies used by participants as they negotiate the various functional requirements of the interviews; and

  • expose the process through which underlying beliefs of the police participants routinely affect the construction of the police interview both as an interaction in time and space and as a socially and culturally situated activity.

The identification of an interview framework based on linguistic devices and interactional features provides a platform for the subsequent microanalysis of participants’ discursive practices. The resulting description of the turn-by-turn construction of the interview will then contribute to the investigation of myths in a police institutional setting and the role of police institutional discourse in the construction of a mythology.


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Copyright information

© Georgina Heydon 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georgina Heydon
    • 1
  1. 1.Monash UniversityAustralia

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