Using identities-in-talk as a persuasive strategy

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Despite the fact that much has been written on crisis negotiations, very little literature actually looks at the turn by turn identity work that is employed to do persuasion. Taking a social constructionist approach to identity, and using transcripts of negotiations between police negotiators and Merah, a self-proclaimed Mujahedin, this paper reveals the identity work that is strategically deployed in an attempt to persuade Merah to surrender peacefully. Findings indicate that, on the one hand, the police do identity work that negates the relevance of the default identities Mujahedin/Kafir, and on the other hand they do identity work that makes relevant alternative identities that make a peaceful solution more likely.


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