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Impoliteness and emotions in a cross-cultural perspective

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2014
<mark>Journal</mark>SPELL: Swiss Papers in English Language and Literature
Volume30
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)67-88
<mark>State</mark>Published
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

This study investigates the emotions one experiences when one participates in impolite discourses. Specifically, it addresses the question of whether different cultures experience different emotions in the light of discourses deemed impolite. We begin by discussing the nature of impoliteness, pointing out that key concepts such as face and sociality rights seem to be closely connected to particular emotions. We discuss the role of cognition in the mediation of emotion, arguing that it is essential in the explanation of impoliteness, and indeed cultural variation. We analyse 500 reports of impoliteness events generated by undergraduates based in England, Finland, Germany, Turkey and China. We extract emotion labels from our data and classify them into emotion groups. Our results suggest that there is less cultural variation at higher level emotion categories, but more at lower level. For example, our Chinese and Turkish data suggests that our informants contrast with the other datasets in experiencing sadness to a greater degree.