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Narratives in Academic and Professional Genres


Edited By Maurizio Gotti and Carmen Sancho Guinda

This book received the Enrique Alcaraz Research Award in 2015.

Through Narrative Theory, the book offers an engaging panorama of the construction of specialised discourses and practices within academia and diverse professional communities. Its chapters investigate genres from various fields, such as aircraft accident reports, clinical cases and other scientific observations, academic conferences, academic blogs, climate-change reports, university decision-making in public meetings, patients’ oral and written accounts of illness, corporate annual reports, journalistic obituaries, university websites, narratives of facts in legal cases, narrative processes in arbitration hearings, briefs, and witness examination accounts. In addition to exploring narration in this wide range of contexts, the volume uses narrative as a powerful tool to gain a methodological insight into professional and academic accounts, and thus it contributes to research into theoretical issues. Under the lens of Narratology, Discourse and Genre Analysis, fresh research windows are opened on the study of academic and professional interactions.


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PATRIZIA ANESA Multiple Narratives in Arbitration Processes - 363


PATRIZIA ANESA Multiple Narratives in Arbitration Processes People are storytellers by their nature (Lieblich et al. 1998: 7) and nar- ratives play a fundamental role in the development of different com- municative processes. In legal proceedings, it is often through the narration of events on the part of the participants (and the destruction and reconstruction of such narrations) that the event develops (see Papke 1991, Pennington/Hastie 1992, Cotterill 2003, Spiecker/Wor- thington 2003). It has also been stated that a legal process is “at heart a narrative one because there cannot be a legal case without a real story about real people actually located in time and space and culture” (White 1985: 692). Arbitral proceedings too are characterized by the importance of narration. The parties narrate their version of certain events and their narration is supported or contrasted by the narrations offered by the other parties, lawyers, witnesses and expert witnesses. Research in the area of arbitration is still relatively limited, be- cause accessing authentic material can represent a particularly com- plex task. This often derives from the desire of arbitrators and parties involved in a dispute to keep the evidence, the proceedings and the award completely private and confidential. Indeed, privacy and confi- dentiality constitute some of the primary elements on which the choice of arbitration is based as Mattli (2001: 919) confirms: “arbitration is resolutely private, making information exceedingly difficult to ob- tain”. However, in the last few years the linguistic and communicative dynamics that characterize arbitration have drawn...

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