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Requests and Culture: Politeness in British English and by Saeko Fukushima

By Saeko Fukushima

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This e-book offers a cross-cultural comparability among British and jap cultures concentrating on requests and responses. The research relies on facts elicited from a questionnaire which lists the alternatives of innovations for making requests and responding to off-record requests, making an allowance for the variables energy, social distance and imposition. The author's findings recommend vital refinements to Brown and Levinson's politeness categorisation and query the validity of cultural stereotypes. Drawing at the contrast among individualist and collectivist cultures, this learn additionally bills for variations among the politeness thoughts in British English and jap.

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Extra resources for Requests and Culture: Politeness in British English and Japanese

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Matsumoto (1988) also argues that the concept of imposition in Japanese culture is different from the one proposed by Brown and Levinson. ” The speaker is making a direct request embodying an unveiled imposition. : 410). ” This is because the acknowledgement of interdependence is encouraged in Japanese society. The concept of imposition as defined by Brown and Levinson is considered to be something to be avoided; indeed, the concept of imposition in Japanese society, according to Matsumoto, even enhances the face of the addressee.

They contend that the ranking of impositions is related to (1) services (including the provision of time) and (2) goods, as well as actor’s rights and obligations. ” Concerning the factors of the above variables, Brown and Levinson (1987: 76) note that: We are not interested in what factors are compounded to estimate these complex parameters; such factors are certainly culture-specific. I think culture-specificity of factors of each variable may result in the cultural differences in the perceptions of situations which I will review in the next section.

In every society, one is expected, or would like to act according to the norms of that society, unless someone deliberately intends to violate those norms for a certain purpose. In order to act according to the norms of each society, one has to wakimaeru his/ her own position in society. Therefore, I think wakimae applies universally, even though there may be differences in the norms of each society, or the degree to which one may have to conform to those norms. ” Because of the characteristics of the Japanese language, the degree to which social indexing is obligatory may be stronger than in English, for example, but that does not mean wakimae applies only to Japanese society.

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