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Part of Key Topics in Sociolinguistics

  • Date Published: October 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521794060

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About the Authors
  • Using a wide range of data from real-life speech situations, this introduction to politeness theory breaks away from the limitations of current models. It argues that the proper object of study in politeness theory must be "common sense" definitions of politeness and impoliteness. Richard Watts concludes that a more appropriate model, based on Bourdieu's concept of social practice, can thus be developed.

    • Presents a radical way of looking at linguistic politeness
    • Allows politeness phenomena from different ages and different cultures to be looked at on their own terms
    • Opens up the field of politeness research to students of sociology, anthropology and cultural studies
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "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

    • Date Published: October 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521794060
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.37kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introducing linguistic politeness
    2. Politeness through time and across cultures
    3. Modelling linguistic politeness I
    4. Modelling linguistic politeness II: Brown and Levinson and their critics
    5. Facework and linguistic politeness
    6. A social model of politeness
    7. Structures of linguistic politeness
    8. Relevance Theory and concepts of power
    9. Politic behaviour and politeness in discourse
    10. Politic behaviour and politeness within a theory of social practice
    Glossary of terms

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Language and the politics of Everyday life
    • Language, Culture, and Performance
  • Author

    Richard J. Watts, Universität Bern, Switzerland

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