Complaints and Impoliteness in Service Encounters: A Mixed Method Analysis
Ronald Geluykens & Bettina Kraft
University of Oldenburg; University of Trier
Research on (im)politeness phenomena within (cross-cultural) pragmatics has, in the past, all too often focused on a narrow range of face-threatening acts such as requests and apologies, employing a limited range of (controlled) data tools such as dicourse completion tasks (DCTs), and using one single research method. The current book attempts to address these limitations by focusing on (spontaneously) occurring conflictual exchanges, and by using a mixed method approach.
The contribution this study makes is twofold. First of all, by employing a mixture of controlled (DCTs, role plays) and spontaneous (telephone and face-to-face) data, and by combining quantitative and qualitative analyses, we emphasize the advantages, indeed the necessity, of a mixed methodology. Secondly, by concentrating on service encounters, we show that complaints are speech events which are highly context-sensitive. We also demonstrate that previous studies have overestimated the role of politeness strategies in complaints; hence our claim that any analysis of conflict talk needs to take the role of impoliteness phenomena into account as well.
Ronald Geluykens is Full Professor of English Language at the University of Oldenburg; Bettina Kraft is Senior Lecturer in English Linguistics at the University of Trier. They have collaborated extensively on the analysis of complaints in the past.
ISBN 9783862887101 (Hardbound). LINCOM Studies in Pragmatics 30. 276pp. 2016.