‘The Analysis of Impoliteness in Family Discourse: Verbal Interactions between Irreconcilable Iranian Couples’ by Mohsen Jannejad, Anahita Bordbar, Ali Bardidieh & Reza Banari


This study attempted to analyze impoliteness in family discourse in verbal interactions between irreconcilablecouples in Ahvaz, Iran. Therefore, a corpus of 300 minutes of the couples’ conversations, which was provided by Family research center, was recorded, transcribed and analyzed. The couples were asked to put their controversial problems into discussion. The theoretical framework in this study was Impoliteness Model by Culpeper (1996) based on Brown & Levinson Politeness Strategies (1987). This study was a descriptive analytic one and data analysis was based on qualitative as well as quantitative factors. The results showed women insult themselves twice more compared to their husbands and insult their spouses 5 times more, while men’s insults were directed at their wives’ family 2.3 times more compared to the other way around. But on the whole, women used impoliteness twice as much as men did. It was hypothesized that men used impoliteness more than women did. But the findings revealed that out of 175 impoliteness examples, 93 cases were utilized by women and 82 ones by men. Finally, it is worth mentioning that the findings of this study were contrary to expectations in that they depicted that although women, in order to save their face, were normally more conservative in verbal communication in different contexts in society and thus appeared politer than men, they tended to be more impolite in family discourse. It indicated that women were less concerned about their face in family conversations in comparison with other contexts.

Index Terms: descriptive-analytic, family discourse, impoliteness model, politeness

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