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Metaphor and empathy in the discourse of battered women and mediators Kaline Girão Jamison, PhD student at the Federal University of Ceara, Brazil Ana.

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Presentation on theme: "Metaphor and empathy in the discourse of battered women and mediators Kaline Girão Jamison, PhD student at the Federal University of Ceara, Brazil Ana."— Presentation transcript:

1 Metaphor and empathy in the discourse of battered women and mediators Kaline Girão Jamison, PhD student at the Federal University of Ceara, Brazil Ana Cristina Pelosi, Federal University of Ceara, Fortaleza, Brazil Letícia Santos, State University of Ceara, Brazil C A P E S

2 The project The project is part of a major project entitled Social cognitive representations of violence in urban Brazilian centrers. Both projects are linked to an international project coordinated by Lynne Cameron, entitled Living with uncertainty: Metaphor and the dynamics of empathy in discourse. We use a discursive-cognitive approach with emphasis on metaphor-led discourse analysis to identify manifestations of empathy in the talk of battered women and police officers as they interact verbally during police report sessions.

3 Research aims Understand how metaphor present in the talk of victims and police officers shed light on ideas and attitudes of victims and police officers towards victims’ aggressors; Understand how feelings and attitudes present in talk between victims and police officers may hinder/foster empathy towards aggressors; Contribute to fostering positive relations between victims, police officers and aggressors.

4 Contextualizing the present day situation of violence against women in Brazil Between 1980 and 2010 more than 92 thousand women were murdered in Brazil. And 43,7 thousand only in the last decade; Between 2001 and 2011, there was an increase of 17,2% in the number femicides. Only in 2011 more than 4,5 thousand women were killed in Brazil; In average, there are 5.664 violent deaths of women each year, 472 per month, 15,52 a day, or one every half an hour; 40% of the femicides happens at home;

5 Maria da Penha Law Brazilian government in 2006 enacted a law under the symbolic name “Maria da Penha Law on Domestics and Family”; The name of the law is a tribute to Maria da Penha Maia, a woman whose husband attempted to murder her twice, causing her to become a paraplegic; Today, she is a notable figure in the movement for women’s rights in Brazil; It states that aggressors are no longer to be punished with alternative sentences;

6 Law 11.340

7 Theoretical background Human cognition is embodied and socio- culturally situated. Therefore, our conceptual system is not estructured independently from our interactions with the environment. “ Our concepts cannot be direct reflexes of an exterior, objective reality abstracted from the mind since our sensory-motor system plays a crucial role in molding them.” (LAKOFF & JOHNSON 1999:44)

8 Theoretical background In a dynamic perspective between thought and talk, we consider that the words that emerge in discourse are fluid. Talk is under this perspective, provisional, constituted by the verbalizations of ideas that can be, equally, fluid and provisional. Discourse circumstances will influence the ideas and attitudes there engendered. (CAMERON, 2003; CAMERON & LOW, 2004; SLOBIN, 1996; SPIVEY, 2007).

9 Theoretical background Empathy “[...] empathy is precisely trying to imagine one world vision that you do not share and that, in fact, finds very difficult to share”. Halpern & Weinstein (2004, p. 581) From the German, "Einfühlung", which means “feeling into”. Translated in English as empathy. (Tichener, 1909)

10 Theoretical background Gestures of empathy are instances of the processes that link Self and Other in the development of empathy (CAMERON, 2001, p.24); They are holist and dialogic, related to what is said and is often made by one person towards another for the other person’s benefit; They are opportunities to understand better or more deeply, perhaps a readiness to listen or refusal to judge and they make a major impact to the conciliation process and contribute to the dynamics of empathy;

11 Data and method 12 police report sessions Talk between victim and police officer recorded, transcribed and translated Metaphor-led discourse analysis – discourse topics – metaphors (metaphor vehicles) – metaphor groupings – identification of empathic emergences

12 Hope in behavioural change (wife’s empathy towards aggressor) 111. (P): Is this one the first police report...that you do? 113. (V): I did.. 114...I did this other one here, 115. but it’s already been 116 … I did it 117 … at Parangaba Police Station (hands it over to the police officer) 118. (P): Humm (she reads the report) 119. (2) And you didn’t even do 120. the forensic examination, 121. …..did you? 122. (V): No/no.. 123. We have pity on the person, right? 124. …That the person gets arrested 125. (P): You didn’t do the examination because 126.…You had pity on him? 127. (V): …Because, you know 128. … We want 129. … to get out of our lives, 130....do you understand? 131.(P):You have pity on him? 132. (V): I don’t know… 133. …It wasn’t that I had 134. … But I didn’t go 135. If he gets better, right? 136. (P): You thought he could get better, didn’t you ?

13 Hope in behavioural change (wife’s empathy towards the aggressor) 315. (P1) Then 316...you decided to leave the house? 317. (V4) Yes 318.... I did 319. (P2): This was not the first time 320....that I get out of the house 321....we ALWAYS 322....get back 323.... we fight 324....but 325....no/no 326....etc. 327....but he doesn’t change 328....you know, 329....no change 330....It’s better for me to get out 331....at once 323....I just wanted to get my work stuff

14 Hope in behavioural change (wife’s empathy towards the aggressor) After sharing her motivation for filing a police report against her partner, the victim is asked whether she had already filed another report, which she admitted he had. At that point, the victim’s immediate reaction is to try to explain why she had not continued pursuing prosecution against the abuser; In this particular discourse activity, it is interesting to see how empathy emerges on such a short timescale and so explicitly.

15 Hope in behavioural change (wife’s empathy towards the aggressor) Image schemas are quite frequent in the victims’ discourse; Life is seen as a container as she says “to get out of our lives” (L.129); the origin-journey-destination schema is used to talk about the relationship, which is seen as a spatial place, like when she says “we always get back” (L. 322); She uses the expression “to have pity on him”, which is metaphorical and explicitly shows empathy ; another occurrence of metaphor is observed when the victim uses the expression “do better” (L.325) to talk about not her partner’s physical condition, but his behavior;

16 Taking the perspective of the aggressor (police officer’s empathy towards aggressor) 358.P2:Does he threaten you? 359.V5: He doesn’t threaten me, 360 He hits me. 361.P2: Does he attack you 362.ALL THE TIME, 363.…constantly? 364.V5:When we fight 365.…he attacks me 366. P2:What kind of measures are you expecting from the police station? 367.V5: What I want 368.…is 369.…DISTANCE 370.…a hundred meters from me 371. P2:… Is your life at stake? 372. V5:Yes 373. P2: Because with Maria da Penha law

17 Taking the perspective of the aggressor (police officer’s empathy towards agressor) 374..…that is 376. …there’s the protective measure 377. …that the law provides to the women 378.…but 379.…but in emergency situations 380.…when their life is at risk 381.V5:Yes 382.P2:It is a little tragic measure 383.…At the moment you request this measure 384.… we must warn you that 385. …it’s because sometimes 386. ….women 386. …they ask for it but 387.…they don’t have the notion 388.…of what it is about 389.……this measure 390…when you ask for it 391.…it automatically 392.…generates a criminal process against him

18 Taking the perspective of the aggressor (police officer’s empathy towards agressor) 393.…right? 394.We warn you about this because… 395. women sometimes don’t want to get the husband’s name dirty 396.… understand? 397.…because sometimes 398.…he pays child support 399.…and it can be prejudicial for his job 400…this whole thing 401…that’s why if you ask for this measure 402.…you must know it will generate a criminal process against him 403.V5:I want it 404.P2:Do you want it? 405.…anyway? 406.V5: Because I’ve already given him many chances 407…He’s hit me many times 408.P2:You must evaluate the risk you are taking 409.…I’m just giving you the options 410.…We could call him for a hearing here

19 Taking the perspective of the aggressor (police officer’s empathy towards agressor) 411.… so that he is warned 412.…if he continues 413.…you could sue him 414.…what do you want? 415.V5:To warn him 416.…right? 417.P2:But is your life at risk? 418.V5:I think so 419.…because I’m not even at home 420.…and I’m not even going in there 421.P2:So 422.…it’s better to request the protective measure. 423.When was the last time he hit you? 424.V5:Yesterday

20 By stating that the aggressor would have this name dirty the police officer tries to provoke empathy cognitively in the victim, by helping her to understand the situation from a different perspective (CAMERON, 2011); This attitude is an attempt to prompt a shift from seeing the Other as dehumanized to seeing him as an individual again; Taking the perspective of the aggressor (police officer’s empathy towards agressor)

21 As the victim describes her motives, she faces a “pertubation event” (CAMERON, 2011), when the police officer explains the consequences of the protective measure for her husband; Measure is used metaphorically to define something that would not be beneficial for him; Risk is seen, by the police officer, as place (L. 380 and 417), that is, where the victim’s life should be at before she decides to “get the aggressor’s name dirty” Taking the perspective of the aggressor (police officer’s empathy towards agressor)

22 Summing up… Circulating stories – People share stories about violent acts in general including IPV and keep them alive, fuelling their fear. Media – The media reports violent events in general in a sensational way. A vicious cycle – IPV victims have, many times, been brought up in violent homes. Their mothers were victims, they are victims; – Victims depend financially on their aggressors; – Aggressors go unpunished; – They do not want/recognize the need for help; – Law enforcement is still precarious;

23 Summing up… Recent initiatives – In the south, specifically, in some cities in Rio Grande do Sul, Maria da Penha patrols, have been set up in order to prevent aggressors from disobeying the law, in especial, the one that prohibits them from approaching the potential victim; – In addition, social workers and police officers, visit and /or telephone the potential victims in order to know if the aggressor is, indeed, obeying the law on the protective measure; Moral climate – Individual empathy is not enough; – The responsibility for social empathy is systemic (i.e. multi-level); – There is a need for different segments of society to be involved (education, social organizations, health sector etc).

24 References AMARAL, C. G. et al. Dores invisíveis: violência em delegacias da mulher no Nordeste. Fortaleza: Edições Rede Feminista Norte e Nordeste de Estudos e Pesquisas sobre a Mulher e Relações de Gênero – Redor, 2001. ANDRIGHI (2003), A violência doméstica contra a mulher. Palestra proferida no Fórum Aberto de Discussão, Palmas, 23 de novembro de 2003. Disponível em: http://bdjur. stj. gov. br/dspace/handle/2011/584 Acesso em: 24 de maio de 2014. CAMERON, L. Metaphor in Educational Discourse. London: Continuum, 2003. CAMERON, L. Metaphor shifting in the dynamics talk. In: M. S. Zanotto, L. Cameron and M. Cavalcanti (Eds). Confronting Metaphor in Use: An Applied Linguistic Approach 45-62. Amsterdan: John Benjamins, 2008b. CAMERON, L. Patterns of metaphor use in reconciliation talk. In: Discourse and Society. Sage Publications: Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, 2007b. CAMERON, L. Metaphor shifting in the dynamics of talk, chapter 2, In: ZANOTTO, M. S., CAMERON, L. Metaphor and Reconciliation: The Discourse Dynamics of Empathy in Post-Conflict Conversation, Routledge, London, 2011. CAMERON, L. & CAVALCANTI, M. C. (orgs). Confronting Metaphor in Use: an applied linguistic approach. Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2008. CAMERON, L. (2010). In: CAMERON, L. & MASLEN, R. (Ed). Metaphor Analysis: research practice in applied linguistics, social sciences and the humanities. UK: Equinox Publishing Ltd, 2010.

25 CAMERON, L. & LOW, G. Figurative variations in episodes of talk and text. European Journal of English Studies 8 (3): 355-373, 2004. CAMERON, L. & DEIGNAN, A. (2009). A emergência da metáfora no discurso. (translated by FARACO, S. & VEREZA, S.) In: SIQUEIRA, Maity. Cadernos de Tradução. Porto Alegre. no 25, jul-dez, p. 1-278. HALPERN & WEINSTEIN (2004). Rehumanizing the Other: Empathy and Reconciliation. Human Rights Quaterly. 26 :561-583. LAKOFF, G. & JOHNSON, M. (1980). Metaphors We Live By. London: The University of Chicago Press. LAKOFF, G. & JOHNSON, M. (1999). Philosophy in the flesh. New York: Basic Book. QUEIROZ, F. M. (2008) Lei Maria da Penha: gênero; violência contra a mulher: fazendo gênero. Universidade Estadual do Rio Grande do Norte, 2008. Disponível em:. Acesso em: 23 maio. 2014. SLOBIN, D. (1996). From “thought and language” to “thinking and speaking”. In Gumperz and S. Levinson (eds) Rethinking Linguistic Relativity 70-96. New York: Cambridge University Press. SPIVEY, M. The Continuity of Mind. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. TICHENER, E. B. (1909). Lectures on the experimental psychology of the thought- processes. New York, MacMillan. Google book search. Web. 6th June 2014.

26 Websites Metaphor analysis http://creet.open.ac.uk/projects/metaphor-analysis/index.cfm Living with Uncertainty project http://www.open.ac.uk/researchprojects/livingwithuncertainty/ GELP-COLIN www.gelp-colin.ufc.br


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