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4-5-11 - Politeness Theory IMPORTANT Download and read...

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Politeness Theory IMPORTANT: Download and read Brown’s article on politeness theory from Sakai. Try to answer the reading questions at the end of this class outline to help you understand the most important concepts of the reading. Politeness Introduction communication: bias toward solidarity - maximize friendliness/affiliation - minimize conflict/discord - Avianca Flight: What is the Problem here? see transcript - not assertive enough with their tone - may be in different tones - not concerned with the coordination of the flight but the relationship instead - not pervasive enough Gilmore Girls: What is the Problem here? Trevor performed an invitation (request) thereby threatening Rory’s negative face by making a demand or proposing an invitation. Origins of Politeness Theory Erving Goffman - avoid conflict & maintain solidary among others the “self” is sacred - cultural norms: how to treat individuals - honor & respect facework - communicative rituals o symbolic act that establish and maintains those sacred acts
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- preserve sacredness of the “self” - what should and what should not be done o ex. What should be done: greet people you know o what should not be done: invade privacy Brown & Levinson’s Politeness Theory ritual constraints on interaction Face Threatening Acts (FTAs) - any action that is hostile, disrespectful, or imposing towards the people around you - FTA threatens others’ “face” o “face” means the want (desire) to be appreciated, and/or free from imposition (CLICKER) o examples? Insult them Tell them that they are wrong Not listening or ignoring Making a demand Violates someone’s desire to do what they want to do Being lied to
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Two Types of Face positive (+)face desire to have an affirmative self image - to be liked, appreciated, esteemed - what threatens positive faces: rejections, insults, negative (–)face desire not to be imposed on by others - not to be distracted by others - respect for personal space, property, and time - what threatens negative faces: making any demand or threat CLICKER: When performing any FTA it is better to use positive politeness than it is to use negative politeness. This statement depends on the type of FTA being used (+/-) e.g., performing a request (FTA)
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