ERIC Number: ED246500
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Politeness: A Conversationalist Indicator of Sex Roles.
Metts, Sandra; Bryan, Glynis
Six casual conversations between university undergraduates were tape recorded and transcribed in an effort to describe the politeness practices of men and women during ordinary conversation. The first stage of analysis involved dividing the transcripts into utterances or units of speech actions. The second stage of analysis involved coding each utterance for politeness features. Findings indicated that the total frequency of politeness features for all speakers combined across the six conversations was 1,442 instances. In contrast to earlier studies, which found that females preferred positive politeness while males demonstrated no preference, the data from this study indicated that males used positive politeness over negative politeness in a ratio of 14 to 1 while females used it in a ratio of 8 to 1. The typical female politeness profile was seen as a collection of communicative behaviors whose function was oriented toward cooperative identity validation. Considerable conversational effort went into establishing, reinforcing, and sharing identities whose dimensions were simultaneously explored and confirmed. By contrast, the male speaker tended to claim common ground through verbal identity markers such as slang, dialect, and address forms. The typical male politeness profile was summarized as a set of communicative behaviors whose primary outcome was efficiency. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Conversation; Politeness
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Chicago, IL, April 12-14, 1984).