Facework in English and German sociable episodes
This research focuses on cross-cultural differences in facework between English and German conversation. Specifically, the research addresses facework occurring as part and parcel of sociable conversation, as it is played out within moments of focused topic development - what I term 'sociable episodes'. Drawing on extant literature, the study identifies a range of communicative parameters along which English and German communicative style has been shown to differ, non more so than those suggesting different facework norms, and orientation to face needs as opposed to such things as ideational aspects of talk. In an attempt to address these differences, the study develops a model of facework - facework as alignment -which is posited as being appropriate to the study of essentially apolite conversational interaction. Further, although utilising the notions of ritual equilibrium (Goffman 1967) and positive - negative aspects of face (Brown and Levinson), the posited model of facework focuses specifically on aspects of sociable selfhood informing sociable conversation. It is argued that facework in sociable episodes is a matter of positive and negative alignment of sociable selves in and through the claiming of solidarity with and autonomy from other co-participants in terms of expressions of definitions, evaluations, experiences. In terms of English - German differences, these are demonstrated to be a matter of alignment of different sociable selves, ones normatively and routinely positively and negatively aligned in the achievement of sociable conversation, and ones indexing prevailing but culturally differing positive social values (Goffman 1967). The study concludes by identifying areas for future research based on the facework as alignment model developed and applied throughout the thesis.