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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: June 2019

11 - Globalisation and Politeness: A Chinese Perspective

from Part II - Concepts and Cultural Norms Underlying Politeness


Kádár and Ran’s chapter examines one of the key areas in which Sifianou has enriched politeness research and pragmatics: the relationship between globalisation and politeness. They demonstrate clear differences between academic and lay understandings of the effect of globalisation on politeness, in particular when this issue is examined across cultures. The authors explore the relationship between politeness and globalisation from a Chinese perspective, focusing on popular metadiscursive tendencies that surround politeness and globalisation in Chinese cultural contexts. The metapragmatic phenomena they target are (i) metalexicon/metalanguage: words/expressions that interactants use about im/politeness and ‘globalisation’ and (ii) metadiscourse: discourses on im/politeness and globalisation. Their dataset consists of Chinese online texts, mostly informal news articles and blogs written by Chinese authors. Kádár and Ran provide historical contextualisation for the development of Chinese perceptions of guojihua (‘internationalisation’, a term that is used instead of ‘globalisation’ in the Chinese context) as a beneficial factor for the development of politeness.

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