(Im)politeness and disagreement in two Hong Kong internet discussion forums

Winnie SHUM, Cynthia LEE

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The study of politeness and disagreement in computer-mediated communication (CMC) is a bourgeoning area of study in pragmatics. Adopting the discursive and interactional approaches, this paper investigates the issue in two Hong Kong Internet discussion forums based on the forum interlocutors’ disagreement strategies. Lay participants (i.e., forum browsers) were also invited to rate the identified disagreement strategies in the parameters of politeness, appropriateness and positively/negatively marked behavior on a 5-point Likert scale. The correlations among the three parameters were analyzed statistically. A follow-up interview was administered to better understand the relationship between disagreement and the three parameters of relational work. Eleven types of disagreement strategies were identified. Most strategies were direct and unmitigated but generally perceived as politic, appropriate, and not negatively marked by lay participants. The three parameters were found to be correlated statistically, and some shared criteria between them were discovered from the interview data. In addition, each Internet forum is a unique community characterized by distinctive features. The identified disagreement strategies have yielded some support for the applicability of the discursive and interactional approaches to the analysis of politeness and disagreement in CMC; the statistical analysis and lay participants’ judgment and rating have shed some light on the complicated relational work in performing the speech act.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-83
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Volume50
Issue number1
Early online date24 Apr 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

Fingerprint

politeness
Hong Kong
Internet
relational work
Communication
computer-mediated communication
Statistical methods
speech act
interview
statistical analysis
pragmatics
rating
World Wide Web
Politeness
community

Keywords

  • (Im)politeness
  • Disagreement
  • CMC
  • Online forum
  • Hong Kong

Cite this

SHUM, Winnie ; LEE, Cynthia. / (Im)politeness and disagreement in two Hong Kong internet discussion forums. In: Journal of Pragmatics. 2013 ; Vol. 50, No. 1. pp. 52-83.
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(Im)politeness and disagreement in two Hong Kong internet discussion forums. / SHUM, Winnie; LEE, Cynthia.

In: Journal of Pragmatics, Vol. 50, No. 1, 05.2013, p. 52-83.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

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