To examine applicability of Brown and Levinson's politeness theory to facework in a non-Western culture, we conducted a questionnaire survey of native Japanese speakers. A rank order of influences on facework behavior was investigated among the five factors: (a) intrinsic factor (Ri; that is, effects caused by difference in settings), (b) contextual factor (Rc; that is, effects caused by difference in types of interlocutor's contradictory attitudes), (c) power factor (P; that is, effects caused by age difference with the interlocutor), (d) distance factor (D; that is, effects caused by difference in familiarity with the interlocutor), and (e) gender factor (G; that is, whether the participant is male or female). Results revealed that factors related to the intrinsic content of the situation (Ri) and the interlocutor's attitudes (Rc) had stronger influences than those of the inter- and intrapersonal factors of P, D, and G. Based on these findings, we conclude that Brown and Levinson's formula is applicable to a non-Western culture, Japan.
- Brown and Levinson's politeness theory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities(all)
- Social Sciences(all)