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Politeness And Culture Essay

3255 words - 13 pages

Thesis Statement:Politeness can be realized in a number of ways, among which the use of language concerns us most in the present discussion. Politeness is then taken to be the various forms of language structure and usage which allow the members of a socio-cultural group to achieve their conflict-avoiding goals.Outline1.0 Introduction of Politeness1.1 What is Politeness?Politeness is a kind of socio-cultural phenomenon in human communication. Politeness is seen as the adequacy of linguistic behavior.1.2 Motives of Being PolitenessThe motives of being politeness lies in the consideration of "face". Face is viewed as a positive public self-image that is maintaining in society.2.0 Culture2.1 Define CultureCulture consists of not only language, behavioural norms, which can be observed, but also values and beliefs underlying them.2.2 Language and CultureEvery language is part of a culture.3.0 Politeness and Culture3.1 The Concept of Face In Chinese and English3.1.1 The Source of B & L's " Face"B & L characterize face as image that intrinsically belongs to the individual, to the self.3.1.2 Chinese "Face"Chinese speakers will be seen as being polite if they know how to attend to each other's and to enact speech acts appropriate to and worthy of such an image.3.2 Differences between Chinese "face" and B&L's "face"The differences are related to the conceptualization and the content of "face".3.3 Cultural Assumption3.3.1 A Historical Review3.3.2 Two Construals of the Self: Interdependent and Independent1.0 Introduction1.1 What is politeness?Politeness is a kind of socio-cultural phenomenon in human communication. It has been defined in diverse ways.For Kochman (1984), politeness has a protective mission exercised in putting things in such a way as to take account of the feelings of others:Polite conversation is... a way of showing consideration for other people's feelings, that is, not saying or doing anything that might unduly excite or arouse. The 'gentleman's agreement' (though, hardly just confined to adult males) is and was ' you don't do or say anything that might arouse my feelings, and I won't do or say anything that might arouse yours'... (1984:204)Watts (1992) defines polite behaviour as "socio-culturally determined behavior directed towards the goal of establishing and/or maintaining in a state of equilibrium the personal relationships between the individuals of a social group, whether open or closed, during the ongoing process of interaction" (1992:50)Therefore, the term "politeness" may be generally defined as adequate social conduct and tactful consideration of others aiming to avoid interactional conflicts.Politeness can be realized in a number of ways, among which the use of language concerns us most in the present discussion. Politeness is then taken to be the various forms of language structure and usage which allow the members of a socio-cultural group to achieve their conflict-avoiding goals.If politeness is seen as the...

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