Crime Narratives in Mandarin Police-Suspect Investigative Interview: Narrative Elements and Their Construction



Investigative interview is the process in which suspects recount and reconstruct past events. Police officers” participation plays a vital role in the construction of crime narratives. This study, through conversational analysis of Mandarin investigative interview, scrutinizes into narrative elements involved in crime narratives and their construction. It is found that: a) narrative elements embedded in investigative interview mainly involve abstract, main action and background information and a major part of crime narrative is on background information; b) crime narrative is constructed in the interaction between police officers and suspects. Narrative elements are usually co-constructed by police officers and suspects. Suspects complete their narrative through description, evaluation and explanation, while police officers actively participate in the narrative through backchannels and questioning in various ways; c) the participation of police officers in the narrative is constrained by institutional situation and their epistemic status of crimes. 


Investigative interview; Narrative elements; Police officers; Suspects; Co-construction

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