'No news today': talk of witnessing with families of missing people

Parr, H. and Stevenson, O. (2014) 'No news today': talk of witnessing with families of missing people. Cultural Geographies, 22(2), pp. 297-315. (doi:10.1177/1474474014530962)

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Abstract

The paper contributes new ways of thinking about and responding to interview talk in the context of recent scholarship on interviewing, orality and witnessing. We proceed by paying attention to specific examples of interview talk on the experience of absence via the collecting of narratives from families of missing people. We highlight how ambiguous emotions are bound up with broader ways of recognizing such talk, largely exercised here as reflections on what is involved in witnessing those who are missing in communications with police. Tensions that may be produced by official ways of regarding and responding to family character witness of the missing are discussed in the context of two case studies. In response to these tensions, we offer suggestions for finding different spaces through which to value such ‘witness talk’ by families, particularly via ideas from grief scholarship. The paper concludes by briefly reflecting on how interviewing encounters might produce versions of praxis in which the content of talk is not just, and simply, ‘apprehended’ as academic evidence.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Parr, Professor Hester and Stevenson, Dr Olivia
Authors: Parr, H., and Stevenson, O.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Cultural Geographies
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:1474-4740
ISSN (Online):1477-0881
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in 2014 Cultural Geographies 22(2):297-315
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
512121Geographies of missing people: processes, experiences and responsesHester ParrEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/H030166/1SCHOOL OF GEOGRAPHICAL & EARTH SCIENCES