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Title: British and Korean politeness management style in a first-encounter conversation : a cross-cultural analysis of language, behaviour and emotion
Author: Uh, Soojin
ISNI:       0000 0004 5363 6846
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2014
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Many previous researchers have studied politeness in terms of linguistic strategies which are used to mitigate Face Threatening Acts (FTAs) (e.g. Brown & Levinson, 1987). The nonstrategic politeness was defined in the present study as a general behavioural and face management style in a first-encounter interaction with a stranger with equal status, a situation without apparent FTAs. Three samples of British-British (B-B) pairs, Korean-Korean (K-K) pairs, and Korean-British (K-B) pairs were recruited for video-recorded dyadic conversations. After a 15-minute conversation, they were then asked to answer a questionnaire. The questionnaire contained questions to rate themselves and their interlocutors on six dimensions: Kindness, Politeness, Likeability, Formality, Relaxation, and Interest. The participants were also asked to provide reasons for their ratings. Analyses of the participants' questionnaire responses found the following results. (1) All participants tended to rate their interlocutors more positively than themselves on evaluative dimensions among the six. (2) The K-K group showed a more modest tendency in their ratings compared to the B-B group. (3) The Korean participants of the K-B group had the most divergent ratings between their self-ratings and their interlocutor's ratings of them. (4) Significant correlations of Politeness with Likeability and Relaxation were found to be exclusive to the B-B group, whereas it was Formality and Interest for the K-K group. (5) Identification of social distance and the use of conventional language were the K-K group's cultural-specific reason types for positive evaluations of Politeness. The B-B group attributed their positive ratings on Politeness to turn-taking management. Analyses of the video data focused on five target behaviours: posture, interruptions, mirroring responses, age-disclosure, and self-deprecation. The results of these analyses appeared to be largely consistent with the findings from the questionnaire responses. The B-B group held relaxed postures longer than the K-K group. Covering interruptions and mirroring responses by repeating were more frequently used by K-K than B-B. The K-K group's self-presentation was closely related to Koreans' cultural emphasis on the value of interdependence and hierarchical relations, compared to the B-B group. British and Korean self-politeness management styles are discussed based on the overall results.
Supervisor: Bull, Peter Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available