University of Tampere

Project Description

Cross-cultural politeness: the effect of culture-specific �face� on politeness behaviour

Project Abstract

This thesis will take a look at how politeness in general and culture-specific polite behaviour
is construed and applied across different cultures, more specifically between western cultures (for example the United States) and Chinese culture. The approach to this topic will start with a more general discussion on the effects of culture on society and subsequently language, then proceed to focus the discussion on the more specific issue of how the culture-laden definition and composure of �face� affects the politeness behaviour in a specific culture, and finally presenting concrete examples of this in western and Chinese cultures with the help of research data.
This kind of research should prove to be helpful in many contexts of cross-cultural communication. The general discussion of the cultural factors resulting in differences in cross-cultural communication will apply to a more wider audience, whereas the discussion on the differences between western and Chinese cultures will offer a more in-depth account for those dealing between those respective cultures, for example in trade. In the exceedingly globalizing world on the 21st century, such contexts may include for example international business and trade, other cross-cultural or international co-operative projects and 2nd language teaching, as more and more people from ever more diverse cultures come into contact with each other and wish to communicate across cultures and yet avoid serious misunderstanding.

Surveys released for this project:
Face and Politeness 17
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