Greek women’s stories about intimate relationships
Conceptualizing politeness through “small stories” and identity analysis
While sociolinguistic studies of politeness and identities present many disciplinary parallels, their paths have seldom intersected (Garcés-Conejos Blitvich & Sifianou, 2017, p. 227). It is within this context that this paper uses “small stories” research (Bamberg, 2006; Georgakopoulou, 2006, 2007) and identities analysis to study politeness-in-interaction (Georgakopoulou, 2013b). It particularly looks at a group of young Greek women, and focuses on their “small stories” about the tellers’ and others’ management of politeness norms in intimate relationships. A multi-method approach to data collection is used that involves both naturally-occurring narratives-in-interactions in self-recordings, and reflexive tellings in playback interviews. Drawing on Georgakopoulou’s (2007) triptych of “ways of telling-sites-tellers”, and on Bamberg’s (1997) model of positioning, the analysis illustrates the significance of politeness-related identity claims for signaling lay norms of politeness ratified by the local group of friends. It also shows how politeness construction is intertwined with the interactional fabrication of identities.
Keywords: politeness, emic conceptualizations, small stories, identities analysis, intimate relationships
Published online: 02 July 2019
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