Within the contemporary web-mediated semiotic contexts for communicative interactions, an interesting phenomenon is the onset of new ‘subsidiary’ genres in many fields, such as, amongst many others, the paralegal exchanges in the field of Mediation (i.e., alternative dispute resolution) and Restorative Justice, whose practices are often disseminated and advertised through on line videos (Abbamonte and Cavaliere 2012, 2013). The multimedia affordances of such technology-driven human communication have in point of fact consistently affected the nature of genres, even before the critical attention of users and analysts was raised. The potential for either real time or deferred interaction and virtually g/local reach have construed a dynamic and pluri-sensorial space for the fluid functioning of genres as discursive actions within communities – rather than as strictly codified, predictable paths for situated communicative exchanges. The focus of the present investigation is the Protective Order Interview (POI) in the U.S. – whose applicants are usually battered women – that is a legal, partially mediatory, inter-discursive (sub)genre in the field of socio-legal care, which also derives benefit from web diffusion. POI interactions, which partake both of the genderised (inter-ethnic) self-narrative and the interview discursive conventions, are not distant from the linguistic exchanges in the domains of law, social welfare and bureaucratic processes such as the cross-examination of witnesses in courts of law, or the talk in the landscape of the (multi-ethnic) social care. Indeed, the main challenge of this study is to enhance a multilayered and pro-active comprehension of POI interactions. Thus, the question of methodology/ies comes to the foreground, and an integrative methodology, such as the Communication Accommodation Theory, has appeared as a possible answer to such needs. Qualitative data and results from previous studies (Trinch 2006, 2007, Durfee 2009, Abbamonte 2012) will be commented and compared with results from the present analysis so as to highlight the elements of change that affect this interdiscursive sub-genre, progressively more web-mediated. Aspects of such web-mediated interactions will also be taken into account within the more general discussion on POI legal effectiveness, and on the value of a more supportive “victim-friendly” orientation in this area of intervention.
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