Source: (1997) Law and Society Review 31(3):397-440.

This article, based on an analysis of 30 community mediation sessions, provides a theoretical frame for tracking the emergence and domestication of violence stories in the sessions of themselves. Challenging the Cartesian distinction between mental and physical violence, I use Scarry's 1985 work to identify the presence of violence stories in which speakers (1) objectify pain through the discursive production of weapons and wounds, (2) describe the loss of voice itself, and (3) describe attempts to reappear as agents in the elimination of pain itself. Drawing on Minow's 1987 analysis of rights discourse, I offer a definition of the domestication of violence as a movement from rights to needs in the discourse of the session. With this framework and consistent with Silbey and Sarat's 80% of the sessions in which such stories emerged. Finally, drawing on Foucault (1979), I describe this domestication process as a function of the "microphysics of power" and crack the rules of transformation through which violence is subducted into the discourse of mediation itself. I argue that the mediation process contributes to erase any morality that competes with the morality of mediation, and, in the process, disappears violence.