Dr Emma Richardson

BA(Hons) Sociology, Sheffield Hallam University; MRes Social Research, Loughborough University; PhD Social Psychology, Loughborough University

Pronouns: She/her
  • Lecturer in Language and Social Interaction

Emma is a Lecturer in Language and Social Interaction in the Communication and Media department in the School of Social Science and Humanities.

Emma completed her PhD here at Loughborough, in 2014. Supervised by Professors Elizabeth Stokoe and Charles Antaki, her thesis ‘The order of ordering: analysing customer bartender service encounters in public bars’ was an ethnomethodological, conversation analytic (CA) study examining how we accomplish service at the bar counter.

Emma joins Loughborough from the Aston Institute of Forensic Linguistics, Aston University where her research focussed on understanding the investigative police interview from a CA perspective. She also has an interest in the quality of ‘evidence’ in the legal system in England and Wales. You can read more about Emma’s research interests under the Research tab.

Emma has also held a number of post-doctoral positions working with a range of qualitative research methodologies in health care settings. This included posts at Liverpool University and then Manchester University participating in evaluations of the Care Quality Commission’s inspection and rating regime of health and social care services in England. She also worked on the Preserving Antibiotics Through Safe Stewardship (PASS) project at Leicester University in partnership with colleagues at UCL and the Royal College of Art to understand the social factors contributing to antimicrobial resistance.

Emma’s research interests centre on improving access to criminal justice for 'vulnerable' (as defined by law) victims and witnesses of crimes such as kidnap, domestic violence and sexual offence. She uses conversation analysis (CA) to examine how these crimes are reported and progressed. Her research is applied; working in partnership with police in England she contributes to the development of training and guidance materials and seeks to understand how they are enacted in practice.

- Initial reporting of domestic abuse (IRDA)

Domestic violence has high prevalence but low reporting. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting UK lockdown, saw a media reported increase in reports of domestic abuse to the police and, in greater volume, to domestic abuse charities. In collaboration with Professor Stokoe, at Loughborough University, Emma has been undertaking a conversation analytic study to understand how people make reporting to the police and to see if these initial reports made during the lockdown might differ from those prior to. This work is designed to deal with underreporting and help promote the police services as a route for victims and witnesses of domestic abuse to report incidents of this nature.

- Communicating and recording ‘Crime in Action’: a linguistic analysis

Joanna Traynor, at Anglia Ruskin University, has identified a reluctance by emergency call-handlers to categorize incoming reports as a ‘crime in action’ (crimes such as kidnap and extortion that are ongoing, in real time), due to the immediate and serious response this categorization occasions. Emma is working with Dr Sarah Atkins, Dr Felicity Deamer, both at Aston University, to understand the issues with the reporting and categorization of ‘crime in action’. In this project, they use a combination of linguistics methods to examine how the caller’s spoken report is transformed by call handlers into a written incident log, which dispatch colleagues then either confirm, upgrade or downgrade categorizations and issue responses. The team are particularly interested in analysing patterns that result in miscommunication or miscategorization of ‘crime in action’ incidents, with the potential to contribute to research-based training.

-       For the Record: a linguistic analysis of transcribed investigative interviews

Transcripts of investigative interviews are routinely presented in court as part of the prosecution case, with minimal recognition of how original spoken data are (necessarily) substantially altered through the process of being converted into a written format. ‘For the Record’, led by Dr Kate Haworth and with Drs James Tompkinson and Felicity Deamer (Aston University) is a collaborative, mixed-method project being undertaken with an English police force. Emma’s role is this project is to show how the social actions being performed by speakers in the spoken talk are altered in the production of the written transcripts, using conversation analysis. The intended outcome is to produce recommendations, guidelines and (ultimately) training to assist audio transcribers in producing written records which encapsulate more of the meaning conveyed by the original spoken interaction, and to do this consistently.

Emma is the Module Leader for Self and Identity.

Transcription practices

Gender-based violence

Membership categorisation analysis of online data