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What is Politeness

Handbook of Research on Discourse Behavior and Digital Communication: Language Structures and Social Interaction
Use of words, clauses and syntactical and semantic structures which address the positive face of the recipient.
Published in Chapter:
Gender and Politeness in Indian Emails
Asha Kaul (Indian Institute of Management, India) and Vaibhavi Kulkarni (Rutgers University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-773-2.ch025
This study extended recent attempts at analyzing and comprehending gender differences in emails with respect to cooperation and politeness in the Indian business scenario. Four hundred and ninety four emails were studied, out of which two hundred and fifty emails were written by men and two hundred and forty four by women. Collated emails related to directives and non-directives that pertained to information processing as well as soliciting task completion through adherence/violation to principles of politeness. Results revealed that specific forms of politeness will result in cooperation among team members/coworkers in email communication; adherence to politeness maxims is higher in women than in men; specific examples of violations of politeness maxims are higher in men than in women; adherence to politeness maxims in clusters is not gender specific but is contingent on the needs of the situation or the organization; and in directives the variations in use of politeness maxims across genders is the highest.
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More Results
Politeness and Etiquette Modeling: Beyond Perception to Behavior
Politeness is one the means by which we convey, interpret, maintain and alter social relationships. In keeping with Brown and Levinson’s (1987) model, politeness operates by enhancing or mitigating face threat. Also in keeping with our interpretation of the Brown and Levinson model, it is strictly incorrect to speak of the amount of “politeness” in an interaction or utterance. Instead, “perceived politeness” is the result of the balance between perceived face threat in the interaction and perceived value of the “redressive actions” used in the interaction.
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Assessing Pragmatic Skills in Speech Act Production and Perception
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Relationships and Etiquette with Technical Systems
One (pervasive) type of etiquette which embodies a culture-specific code of verbal and non-verbal behaviors with varying weight to redress face threat and thereby signal, maintain or disrupt social relationships based on power difference, social distance (i.e., familiarity) and the raw imposition of interactions (after Brown and Levinson, 1987.)
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Discursive Practice and the Nigerian Identity in Personal Emails
A show of respect and recognition to someone expressed through language and other cultural norms of behaviour. This is often determined by the person’s age, social roles, status and sometimes sex. In personal emails, politeness is expressed in the openings and closings of the messages.
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Social Interaction Process Analysis of Bengalis' on Orkut®
A set of pragmatic norms that encompasses all linguistic and social forms of expression which help human beings achieve the goal of pleasant co-existence.
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