“If it doesn’t make sense it’s not true”: how Judge Judy creates coherent stories through ‘common sense’ reasoning according to the neoliberal agenda.

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Abstract

This study examines the American court show Judge Judy. Drawing on both conversation analysis and critical discourse analysis, this paper aims to show how ideological assumptions about how to be a “good citizen” manifest themselves at a turn-by-turn level in the interactions on Judge Judy and how they contribute to the co-construction of a new version of events. The microanalyses reveal how Sheindlin's strategic use of “common-sense reasoning” sets up a context and characterization of the opposing litigants. Sheindlin reframes complex issues as simple black-and-white stories. These new stories have a plain narrative line without the contingencies of everyday life and with clearly moral and immoral characters allowing her to pass a judgment that only seems fair.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-273
Journaljournal of social semiotics
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jan 2015

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