• Lisa Jonassen Rasmussen
This thesis is an observation study in a Danish courtroom, where I have worked with the working question: How does an accused adapt to the norms and expectations in the courtroom? This question has been examined with the use of the Canadian sociologist Erving Goffman’s dramaturgy metaphor and also some other parts of his authorship, including his texts about deference and de-meanor. Furthermore I have had a focus on authority, since authority always will be a considerable factor in a courtroom. Authority has many different definitions, to frame the definition used in this thesis I have used the German sociologist Max Weber’s theories about legitimacy, mainly using the legal enactment. To define authority within the frame I have used the American sociologist Richard Sennetts book Authority (1981).
As mentioned above I made observations in a Danish courtroom. I made fourteen observations of criminal cases concerning violence. From these fourteen cases and the theories mentioned above I created four adaption lines that the accused acted according to. The adaption lines are as following, 1) the absent accused, 2) the rebellious accused, 3) the autonomous accused, 4) the submitted ac-cused. These adaption lines has been defined, paired with the collected data and discussed. The thesis conclusion is that the accused adapt to the courtrooms norms and expectations to different extents, meaning that the absent doesn’t adapt at all, and doesn’t acknowledge the court as an authority; the rebellious adapt a little bit more, but not enough to make it respectable and to fully see the court as an authority; the autonomous mostly adapt to the norms and expectations and mostly acknowledge the court as an authority and respect their doings, but also stay autonomous and repre-sent themselves in the role they play as accused; the submitted adapt completely and fulfill all of the norms and expectations to them in the courtroom, and therefore fully acknowledge the court as au-thorities. What must be said and is both discussed and concluded in this thesis is that none of the accused can be put in to one adaption line, they all have parts of more adaption lines, but mostly represents one. In the discussion of the adaption lines is also given some other possible explanations to the behavior of the accused, including age and intelligence. It is also mentioned that making a bigger dataset of criminal cases could give a better and more extreme case of the rebellious accused.
Publication date26 Aug 2016
Number of pages75
ID: 237927641