Faculty Publications

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Published Version

Keywords

politeness theory, performativity, critical studies, face, facework

Journal/Book/Conference Title Title

International Journal of Communication

Volume

13

First Page

2839

Last Page

2858

Abstract

In this article, we argue that critical communication scholars have largely overlooked the study of politeness as a constitutive component of identity, culture, and power. We offer a critical-performative framework for critical scholars interested in studying politeness as a political, discursive, and embodied act. To develop this agenda, we first outline Brown and Levinson’s postpositivist theory of politeness. We then review three challenges to their use of intentionality, Grice’s cooperative principle, and Goffman’s concept of face. These challenges are located in interactional, traditional critical, and discursive understandings of politeness (respectively). Next, we show how a performative understanding of politeness both encompasses the three challenges and offers a way to understand the role of politeness in identity formation. We conclude by suggesting that ethnographic methods, informed by performance ethnography, provide analytical tools consistent with a performative understanding of politeness.

Department

Department of Communication Studies

Comments

First published in The International Journal of Communication v13. (2019), by University of Southern California.

Original Publication Date

2019

Repository

UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Copyright

©2019 C. Kyle Rudick and Danielle E. McGeough

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date Digital

2019

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

Included in

Communication Commons

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