Politeness conceptualization in Iranian social interactions : an ethnographic study

Title: Politeness conceptualization in Iranian social interactions : an ethnographic study
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2022, vol. 48, iss. 2, pp. 77-100
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
This study investigated the concept of politeness as perceived by Iranians in their social interactions from the perspective of politeness theory, especially politeness 1 that views politeness as judgments of other people’s behaviour. Data were collected using open-ended questionnaires and a focus group discussion. While 190 Iranians responded to the questionnaire, 6 teachers of English participated in the group discussion. Data were coded and analysed using thematic analysis. The results reveal that a taxonomy of five verbal strategies and eight non-verbal strategies, along with their sub-strategies, are used by Iranians in their social interactions. This taxonomy contributes to the discipline of politeness from the sociocultural perspectives. The study partially supports the politeness theory of Brown and Levinson (1987) as in this study new politeness strategies were discovered, while embracing multiple perspectives for the conceptualization and practice of politeness.
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