Brown And Levinson's Theory Of Politeness Theory

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politeness behavior in a way that takes into account the constraints on individual behavior that derive from the social setting without assuming that individual cultures are homogeneous or that there is homogeneity across cultures. The theory of relative face orientation We have discussed that Brown and Levinson’s (1987) face-saving politeness theory has been undermined for its inability to be applied universally. In surveying recent studies in cross-cultural communication, Mao (1994) mentions Janney and Arndt (1993), who characterise it as idealistic, culturally biased, and lacking objective empirical evidence for the evaluation of their politeness universals. Instead of a theory centered on universals, they suggest that an alternative methodology based on cross-cultural politeness research would offer a more open and flexible perspective. Mao (1994) has undertaken this task of constructing a framework for the analysis of other face dynamics. He starts from a contrastive study of Brown and Levinson’s and the Chinese and Japanese concepts of face to show why their account of politeness pragmatics is non-applicable to these cultures. In Chinese, the literal meaning of the word ‘face’, that is, ‘the front part of the head’, is conveyed by two characters – miànzi and liǎn. These characters together encode a figurative sense…show more content…
This attitude is not conceivable in the European/North-American culture, at least in Brown and Levinson’s model of politeness. For the sake of comparison and contrast, the English equivalent Glad/Pleased to meet you is meant to stroke the positive face of the addressee by conveying

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