Politeness in Chinese-American Quotidian Negotiations


Material Information

Politeness in Chinese-American Quotidian Negotiations
Physical Description:
1 online resource (203 p.)
Zhu, Jinping
University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Committee Chair:
LoCastro, Virginia
Committee Co-Chair:
Blondeau, Helene
Committee Members:
Thompson, Roger M.
Fang, Zhihui


Subjects / Keywords:
appropriateness, negotiation, politeness
Linguistics -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Linguistics thesis, Ph.D.
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )


POLITENESS IN CHINESE-AMERICAN QUOTIDIAN NEGOTIATION This study has attempted to investigate appropriateness and (im)politeness in American-Chinese quotidian negotiations through a detailed analysis of role plays in seven different scenarios, in which the participants negotiate to attain their purpose, as well as analysis of retrospective interviews with all the participants. This study draws on Watts? politeness theory as the theoretical framework, where he introduces two terms to distinguish appropriate behaviors and behaviors beyond appropriateness, namely, politic behavior and (im)politeness (2003). This study addressed two research questions: (1) what is the evidence in the data that the participants are adhering to the negotiation norms, i.e. enacting politic behavior? (2) What is the evidence in the data that the participants are going beyond politic behavior, as required in the norms of the two cultures, to enact ?politeness? and/or ?impoliteness?? The negotiation behaviors of the participants in seven role plays were first analyzed. The role play scenarios are: between a professor and a student on extending the deadline of a report, between two neighbors regarding loud music, between a teaching assistant and a student on a delayed assignment, between a landlord and a tenant on an expiring lease, between two friends regarding returning money, between two officemates on use of lab, and between two roommates regarding an unpaid bill. The researcher triangulated the baseline data with the retrospective interviews, which provides rich evidence as well as authentic evaluations from the participants themselves regarding their understanding and assessment of appropriate behaviors and (im)polite behaviors in the seven scenarios, thus making the conclusions more persuasive. It is found in this study that the negotiation behaviors that are consistent with the negotiation strategies that implement norms were considered appropriate. Examples of these behaviors include making negative appeals and positive appeals. However, negotiation behaviors that do not abide by the norms in one culture are evaluated as (im)polite behaviors by the participants of the other culture. One of such behaviors includes keeping silent, which is one of the negotiation strategies by Chinese and was considered as appropriate by the Chinese participants in this study, was nevertheless regarded as a rude behavior by Americans. This study suggests that Watt?s politeness model is a useful tool to investigate politeness in cross-cultural communication. This politeness model provides a tool to investigate when and why participants in a social interaction perceive a certain utterance as polite or not. Watts? model provides a much wider theory of communication for interpreting politeness. The present study highlights that politeness is better tackled in relation to an entire speech event, the contexts, and the participants? expectations and evaluations of such a situation. This study can be seen as a contribution to the cross-cultural politeness research and can increase empirical and theoretical knowledge of what are appropriate and (im)polite behaviors in cross-cultural communication.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jinping Zhu.
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
General Note:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2010.
General Note:
Adviser: LoCastro, Virginia.
General Note:
Co-adviser: Blondeau, Helene.
General Note:

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lcc - LD1780 2010
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