A Cross-Cultural Pragmatic Study: Politeness Strategies and Realizations of the Strategies Used to Perform Student-Lecturer Multiple Disagreements by Native Speakers of Thai and English

Charoenroop Pattrawut


This study examines what politeness strategies (cf. Brown & Levinson, [1978], 1987) native speakers of Thai (henceforth abbreviated the NT) and Canadian English (the NE) use to perform the student-lecturer multiple disagreements in the classroom context. Generally speaking, the NT’s culture is oriented towards collectivism, while the NE’s tends towards individualism (Hofstede, 1991, 2001). Based on their cultural orientations, it is hypothesized that the NT and NE, despite performing disagreement in the same context, select the politeness strategies and realize the strategies differently. To prove the hypothesis, data were collected by means of classroom videotaping. Prior to the classroom videotaping, the participants’ consents to involve in this study were endorsed. The purposive sampling method was used to select two sample groups representing the target populations. Their classrooms were videotaped for three hours every week for ten continuing weeks. The data were analyzed in terms of the politeness strategies and their realizations. In the context of this study, only multiple disagreements performed by the same students were analyzed. Results show that the NT disagree with their lecturer in only small numbers of turn-takings, whereas the NE often perform their disagreement in greater quantity. Although the NT and NE use the on-record strategy to initiate their first performance of disagreement, they both use different politeness strategy in the subsequent turns. The NT normally redress their politeness strategy and less often realize the strategy non-linguistically, but the NE usually aggravate the politeness strategy in the subsequent turns and realize their strategy non-linguistically, i.e. through the use of head shaking and facial expressions. To some extent, the hypothesis has been proved correct.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2014.v4n1p147

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Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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