Politeness

Overview

During the last fifteen years, existing models of linguistic politeness have generated a huge amount of empirical research. Using a wide range of data from real-life speech situations, this new introduction to politeness breaks away from the limitations of current models and argues that the proper object of study in politeness theory must be commonsense notions of what politeness and impoliteness are. From this, Watts argues, a more appropriate model, one based on Bourdieu's concept of social practice, is ...
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Overview

During the last fifteen years, existing models of linguistic politeness have generated a huge amount of empirical research. Using a wide range of data from real-life speech situations, this new introduction to politeness breaks away from the limitations of current models and argues that the proper object of study in politeness theory must be commonsense notions of what politeness and impoliteness are. From this, Watts argues, a more appropriate model, one based on Bourdieu's concept of social practice, is developed. The book aims to show that the terms 'polite' and 'impolite' can only be properly examined as they are contested discursively. In doing, so, 'polite' and 'impolite' utterances inevitably involve their users in a struggle for power.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Politeness is a challenging, insightful, and provocative approach to the study of politeness phenomena...thoughtful and engaging..."
Women and Language

"...the book stands as a useful introduction to the study of linguistic politness, and is notable for its attention to the play of force relations in constituting social interaction."
Canadian Journal of Sociology Online

"...a valuable overview of the literature."
Current Anthropology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521790857
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/25/2003
  • Series: Key Topics in Sociolinguistics Series
  • Pages: 318
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Introducing linguistic politeness 1
2 Politeness through time and across cultures 27
3 Modelling linguistic politeness (I) 47
4 Modelling linguistic politeness (II): Brown and Levinson and their critics 85
5 Facework and linguistic politeness 117
6 A social model of politeness 142
7 Structures of linguistic politeness 168
8 Relevance Theory and concepts of power 201
9 Politic behaviour and politeness in discourse 217
10 Politic behaviour and politeness within a theory of social practice 250
Notes 264
Glossary of terms 273
References 279
Index 299
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