Did Becky really need to apologise? Intercultural evaluations of politeness

Emi Okano, Lucien Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This study analyses a public apology made in 2016 by Becky, an Anglo-Japanese tarento ‘celebrity’, for her romantic involvement with a married man, musician Enon Kawatani. Adopting an integrative pragmatics perspective, we analyse the pragmatic acts Becky used to perform her apology, including culture-specific nonverbal behaviours indexing deference. We then look at how the apology was dynamically evaluated in naturally occurring discourse in Japanese and British Computer Mediated Communication (CMC). The analysis shows that culture-specific moral orders rendered Becky’s apology necessary in the Japanese context, but that these norms were not shared by the British audience. The Japanese and British CMC participants utilised national identity as resources for negotiating their contrasting moral orders. We show how CMC participants assign significance to the (im)politeness-related behaviour to which they were exposed and how they performed (im)politeness through threatening national identities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-178
Number of pages28
JournalEast Asian Pragmatics
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

Keywords

  • politeness
  • public apology
  • national identity
  • computermediated communication (cmc);
  • gender

Cite this

@article{3fd7a8515a9c4274abe4620de1bde6f0,
title = "Did Becky really need to apologise? Intercultural evaluations of politeness",
abstract = "This study analyses a public apology made in 2016 by Becky, an Anglo-Japanese tarento ‘celebrity’, for her romantic involvement with a married man, musician Enon Kawatani. Adopting an integrative pragmatics perspective, we analyse the pragmatic acts Becky used to perform her apology, including culture-specific nonverbal behaviours indexing deference. We then look at how the apology was dynamically evaluated in naturally occurring discourse in Japanese and British Computer Mediated Communication (CMC). The analysis shows that culture-specific moral orders rendered Becky’s apology necessary in the Japanese context, but that these norms were not shared by the British audience. The Japanese and British CMC participants utilised national identity as resources for negotiating their contrasting moral orders. We show how CMC participants assign significance to the (im)politeness-related behaviour to which they were exposed and how they performed (im)politeness through threatening national identities.",
keywords = "politeness, public apology, national identity, computermediated communication (cmc);, gender",
author = "Emi Okano and Lucien Brown",
year = "2018",
month = "8",
doi = "10.1558/eap.35178",
language = "English",
volume = "3",
pages = "151--178",
journal = "East Asian Pragmatics",
issn = "2055-7752",
number = "2",

}

Did Becky really need to apologise? Intercultural evaluations of politeness. / Okano, Emi; Brown, Lucien.

In: East Asian Pragmatics, Vol. 3, No. 2, 08.2018, p. 151-178.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Did Becky really need to apologise? Intercultural evaluations of politeness

AU - Okano, Emi

AU - Brown, Lucien

PY - 2018/8

Y1 - 2018/8

N2 - This study analyses a public apology made in 2016 by Becky, an Anglo-Japanese tarento ‘celebrity’, for her romantic involvement with a married man, musician Enon Kawatani. Adopting an integrative pragmatics perspective, we analyse the pragmatic acts Becky used to perform her apology, including culture-specific nonverbal behaviours indexing deference. We then look at how the apology was dynamically evaluated in naturally occurring discourse in Japanese and British Computer Mediated Communication (CMC). The analysis shows that culture-specific moral orders rendered Becky’s apology necessary in the Japanese context, but that these norms were not shared by the British audience. The Japanese and British CMC participants utilised national identity as resources for negotiating their contrasting moral orders. We show how CMC participants assign significance to the (im)politeness-related behaviour to which they were exposed and how they performed (im)politeness through threatening national identities.

AB - This study analyses a public apology made in 2016 by Becky, an Anglo-Japanese tarento ‘celebrity’, for her romantic involvement with a married man, musician Enon Kawatani. Adopting an integrative pragmatics perspective, we analyse the pragmatic acts Becky used to perform her apology, including culture-specific nonverbal behaviours indexing deference. We then look at how the apology was dynamically evaluated in naturally occurring discourse in Japanese and British Computer Mediated Communication (CMC). The analysis shows that culture-specific moral orders rendered Becky’s apology necessary in the Japanese context, but that these norms were not shared by the British audience. The Japanese and British CMC participants utilised national identity as resources for negotiating their contrasting moral orders. We show how CMC participants assign significance to the (im)politeness-related behaviour to which they were exposed and how they performed (im)politeness through threatening national identities.

KW - politeness

KW - public apology

KW - national identity

KW - computermediated communication (cmc);

KW - gender

U2 - 10.1558/eap.35178

DO - 10.1558/eap.35178

M3 - Article

VL - 3

SP - 151

EP - 178

JO - East Asian Pragmatics

JF - East Asian Pragmatics

SN - 2055-7752

IS - 2

ER -