Revealing the Janus face of literacy: text production and the creation of trans-contextual stability in South Africa's criminal justice system

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Prinsloo, Mastin en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Arend, Abdul Moeain en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2016-01-26T12:05:17Z
dc.date.available 2016-01-26T12:05:17Z
dc.date.issued 2015 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Arend, A. 2015. Revealing the Janus face of literacy: text production and the creation of trans-contextual stability in South Africa's criminal justice system. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/16569
dc.description Includes bibliographical references en_ZA
dc.description.abstract The thesis researches literacy practices in South Africa's criminal justice system by focusing specifically on the production and flow of police dockets across institutional boundaries in a police station and regional courts renamed Blue Hills police station and Blue Hills regional courts in the Western Cape Province respectively. Through the use of ethnography, the production and flow of police dockets are tracked across three moments - Moment One, Moment Two and Moment Three - in the criminal justice system. The three moments also show how the production of the police docket allows humans and nonhumans to be displaced across these institutional boundaries. Apart from drawing on the New Literacy Studies (also referred to as Literacy Studies in this thesis), the research draws extensively on Actor Network Theory - a theory which argues that the social world and therefore reality are constructed through the creation of networks of associations or networks of relations consisting of human and nonhuman entities. In this study, these associations or relations are referred to as material - semiotic relations. When the relations between human and nonhuman entities achieve some form of stability, that is when they hold, they can have intended and unintended ordering effects on the social world. Therefore, the primary focus of the research is to understand how trans-contextual order is created by building the network of the criminal justice system - referred to as "the network" in this study - through the production of the police docket by police officers (Uniform Branch police officers and detectives) and state prosecutors. The three moments that are identified in the study highlight the complexity of the literacy practices which lead to the production and flow of the police docket across institutional contexts. These moments are snapshots of the possible ways in which the network can be built through assemblies of con figurations of material - semiotic relations. Moment One focuses on the opening of a police docket. During this moment the literacy practices between Uniform Branch police officers and detectives are highlighted when they attempt to classify the crime which should be recorded in the police docket after a member of the public visited the police station to report a possible crime. Moment Two deals with the investigation of crimes. This moment documents the literacy practices of detectives as they attempt to produce written witness statements for inclusion in the police docket from potential state witnesses. The literacy practices that are highlighted here focus on the strategies detectives employ to encode potential state witnesses with meaning and their strategies to ensure that witnesses do make it to court to act as spokespersons on behalf of the network and circulate in the network. Moment Three, the final moment, deals with how state prosecutors animate witnesses and their written witness statements in court so that the network can secure a successful prosecution. By highlighting the literacy practices and text production that characterize the three moments, the research concludes that network stability is contingent on three factors which are inter-related. The first, 'material durability', refers to the level at which material - semiotic relations are successful at staying intact. The second, 'strategic durability', refers to the successes of various strategies (which include specific literacy practices) employed by officials to ensure that entities in the network perform their specific functions in order to ensure trans-contextual stability. Finally, 'discursive stability' refers to institutional ways of measuring productivity in the criminal justice system and which must have trans - contextual reach and ordering effects on literacy and literacy practices across the three moments so that the network can achieve some form of stability. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Literacy practices en_ZA
dc.subject.other criminal justice system en_ZA
dc.title Revealing the Janus face of literacy: text production and the creation of trans-contextual stability in South Africa's criminal justice system en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department School of Education en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image


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