Strong disagreement in Mandarin and ELFP
Aggressive or politic?
This paper calls for the integration of first order and second order approaches in (im)politeness studies. Most previous research on the (im)politeness of Chinese speech behavior has been based on researchers’ interpretations and second order investigations. However, this study included a first order approach by examining Chinese participants’ lay conceptualizations of the appropriateness of the strong disagreement behavior that appeared in spontaneous mundane conversations. A close analysis of both the participants’ responses to strong disagreement in ongoing conversations and follow-up interviews revealed that the participants’ strong disagreement was perceived as politic and acceptable within their communities of practice. This challenges the general belief of strong disagreement as impolite and that of Chinese native speakers being indirect in communication. The finding indicates the importance of embracing first order investigation of the conventional views/norms that might cause communication misunderstanding in cross-cultural contact.
Keywords: politic behavior, strong disagreement, perceptions of (im)politeness, mundane conversations
Published online: 18 November 2013
Cited by 3 other publications
Tantucci, Vittorio & Aiqing Wang
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