ERIC Number: ED381705
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Oct-29
Reference Count: N/A
Testing the Limits of Politeness: Youth Group Talk in a Community Organization.
This paper builds on previous work which analyzed ways of speaking, the use of space, and relationship formation in the work and play of organizations, in order to determine how youth develop a sense of self, empowerment, and persistence. Examined here are the speech interactions taken from three teaching lessons involving youth and youth leaders in a church youth group. The youth group consisted of four Euro-American leaders, ranging in age from 22 to 38 years and the youth consist primarily of Euro-American and Hispanic-American males and females with one Asian male, and range from 13 to 18 years of age. A politeness theory was utilized to identify the types of agendas which were constructed through each interaction. Data were obtained through observation, tape recordings, field notes, and brief interviews. Included is a discussion of "face" and "face threatening acts" (FTAs) as these relate to self-esteem and group interactions. Examples of conversations and FTAs are provided for each of the three sessions. Data analysis revealed that the normative behaviors for appropriate ways of speaking in the youth group did not deny youth the opportunity to negotiate and maintain their own or others'"face" through positive-, negative-, and off-record politeness strategies. Although some youth tended to address the leaders using FTAs, the leaders were able to draw the youth back to the lesson. The adolescents mixed politeness strategies to modify and redefine their relationships with the leaders and one another. (RJM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Politeness; Youth Studies
Note: Paper presented to the University Council of Educational Administration (Philadelphia, PA, October 29, 1994).