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Metaphor and empathy in the discourse of battered women and mediators

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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 We’re going to talk about the collaboration between the Federal University in Fortaleza, Brazil and the Open University that is part of the Living with Uncertainty project. In the UK, we have investigated how people cope with the threat of violence in their everyday lives and what this does to the empathy they may feel towards other social groups. In Fortaleza, a context with higher levels of urban violence but without terrorism, data has been collected to investigate how people talk about their experiences of violence and its effects on their everyday lives. 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. We will show you some of the data we are using, explain the method of metaphor analysis and the idea of discourse dynamics, and share some of the findings from the British study and our initial findings from the data collected in Fortaleza.

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 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 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

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 We have noticed that metonymies are quire frequent in the Brazilian participants’ discourse. Especially the inside/outside metonymy. So, I will next, present some examples of this particular instance and what it might represent in terms of people expressing their feelings due to the prevailing state of violence in Brazil.

12 Hope in behavioural change (wife’s empathy towards aggressor)
125. (P): You didn’t do the examination because …You had pity on him? (V): …Because, you know … We want … to get out of our lives, ...do you understand? (P): You have pity on him? (V): I don’t know… …It wasn’t that I had … But I didn’t go If he gets better, right? 136. (P): You thought he could get better, didn’t you ? (P): Is this one the first police report ...that you do? (V): I did.. I did this other one here, but it’s already been … I did it … at Parangaba Police Station (hands it over to the police officer) (P): Humm (she reads the report) (2) And you didn’t even do the forensic examination, …..did you? (V): No/no.. We have pity on the person, right? …That the person gets arrested Leaving the safety of the house – as metonymy or symbol And if,… hypothetical scenario – insecurity, not knowing Especially with daughter – links into story of real event from the media – “the Pedrinho story” a 4 year-old boy who, the moment his mum tried to free him from the safety bell in a car robbery situation, gets trapped/entangled with the straps and is dragged off for several kilometers as the robber drives away in Rio de Janeiro.

13 Hope in behavioural change (wife’s empathy towards the aggressor)
etc. but he doesn’t change you know, no change It’s better for me to get out at once I just wanted to get my work stuff (P1) Then you decided to leave the house? (V4) Yes I did (P2): This was not the first time that I get out of the house we ALWAYS get back we fight but no/no <I’ll do better> Grilles windows as barriers being inside and outside

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; Here, we see interesting instantiations of the symbolisation of inside-outside. The participant feels relatively safe for being inside her car and does not want to violate that “sacred threashhold”, not being willing to open her car window to the person outside is evidence of that. At the same time, she recognizes that such distancing from the Other, make people, in general, become colder, by saying “You end up becoming a colder person”. Can we, perhaps say here that the colder you become, the more prejudiced you become? And that such an attitude will be a hindrance to the prospects of empathy building? This is an important issue which affects the process of empathy understanding and the prospects of empathy developing, since the COLDER THE PERSON IS THE LESS EMPATHIC HE/SHE IS. However, this is a hypothesis which needs to be further established and investigated. After this slide – handout 3 (Changed routines)

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, He hits me. 361. P2: Does he attack you ALL THE TIME, …constantly? 364. V5: When we fight …he attacks me P2: What kind of measures are you expecting from the police station? 367. V5: What I want …is …DISTANCE …a hundred meters from me P2: … Is your life at stake? V5: Yes P2: Because with Maria da Penha law HANDOUT 4 (NO SLIDE – ONLY THE HANDOUT) - It is still possible to take the perspective of the Other

17 Taking the perspective of the aggressor (police officer’s empathy towards agressor)
. …that is …there’s the protective measure …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 …it’s because sometimes ….women …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 HANDOUT 4 (NO SLIDE – ONLY THE HANDOUT) - It is still possible to take the perspective of the Other

18 Taking the perspective of the aggressor (police officer’s empathy towards agressor)
393. …right? 394. We warn you about this because… 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 HANDOUT 4 (NO SLIDE – ONLY THE HANDOUT) - It is still possible to take the perspective of the Other Hearing* here does not mean a juridical hearing, but a talk between social worker, victim and aggressor.

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 HANDOUT 4 (NO SLIDE – ONLY THE HANDOUT) - It is still possible to take the perspective of the Other

20 Taking the perspective of the aggressor (police officer’s empathy towards agressor)
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;

21 Taking the perspective of the aggressor (police officer’s empathy towards agressor)
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”

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 Disponível em: stj. gov. br/dspace/handle/2011/584 Acesso em: 24 de maio de 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 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): , 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 HALPERN & WEINSTEIN (2004). Rehumanizing the Other: Empathy and Reconciliation. Human Rights Quaterly. 26 : 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, Disponível em: <http://www. fazendo genero 8. ufsc. br/sts/ST11/Fernanda_Marques_de_Queiroz_11. pdf>. Acesso em: 23 maio SLOBIN, D. (1996). From “thought and language” to “thinking and speaking”. In Gumperz and S. Levinson (eds) Rethinking Linguistic Relativity 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 Living with Uncertainty project GELP-COLIN
Living with Uncertainty project GELP-COLIN


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