Applicability of Brown and Levinson's politeness theory to a non-Western culture: Evidence from Japanese Facework behaviors

Sachiko Kiyama, Katsuo Tamaoka, Masato Takiura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalSAGE Open
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Brown and Levinson's politeness theory
  • Face-saving
  • Face-threatening
  • Facework
  • Japanese

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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