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Sociolinguistic Construction of Women’s Identity by Solicitors in Murder Trial Arbitration

Iram Amjad1, Muhammad Shaban Rafi2

This study examines the sociolinguistic construction of women‟s identity by
solicitors in five murder trial arbitration at the magistrate courts located in Lahore,
Rawalpindi and Multan of Punjab, Pakistan murder trials. Ryan‟s (2004) narrative
inquiry and Shi-xu‟s (2005) Socio cultural Communication Approach (SCA) were
taken as theoretical lens to interpret how far the narratives of solicitors are
motivated by cultural dynamics. The study reveals that the solicitors constructed
the socio legal identity of women such as weak and submissive, caregivers and
respectable. Furthermore, they constructed socio cultural tethered narratives,
which in many ways tend to empower women in the legal discourses. The study
has attempted to unfold the socio cultural dynamics which are used to exploit the
judicial discourses in the favor of women as victims or victimized in the murder
trial cases.

Keywords: Sociolinguistic construction of gender, Murder trial discourses,
Women identity in courtroom