I’ll be presenting a paper entitled Legal Narrative in the Citizens’ Panel: Identifying Theories to Explain Storytelling in a Small Group Deliberation about Ballot Initiatives, at NCA 2012: The 98th Annual Convention of the National Communication Association, to be held 15-18 November 2012, in Orlando, Florida, USA.
The paper has been accepted by the NCA Communication and Law Division.
Here is the abstract:
In this paper, three well-known scientific theories of legal narrative are summarized: Bennett and Feldman’s (1981) theory of legal storytelling, Pennington and Hastie’s (1986) story model of juror decision making, and Sunwolf’s (2006) decisional regret theory. Next, the use of legal narrative by participants in the Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR), a public deliberation about ballot initiatives (Gastil & Knobloch, 2010) is described. Results of a content analysis of narratives observed in the transcripts of the 2010 CIR are presented. Finally, the suitability of the theories of Bennett and Feldman (1981), Pennington and Hastie (1986), and Sunwolf (2006) for explaining the use of narrative by CIR panelists is evaluated, and additional theories of narrative communication, which may shed light on significant aspects of CIR participants’ use of storytelling, are identified.
I thank Professor Dr. John Gastil, the Division, and the anonymous reviewers for very helpful comments on the paper.
[NOTE: Updated on 13 November 2012 to link to the full text of the paper and the slides.]