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Politeness theory - Essay Example

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Some living things communicate by other means such as through chemicals like scent to warn other members of the same species about a specific…
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Politeness theory
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Download file to see previous pages he same time also uses a variety of non-verbal communications such as through hand gestures, eye gaze (or specific types of eye contact known as oculesics), facial expressions (a smile or frown), touch or tactile messages (known as haptics), the approximate distance when speaking to another person (known as proxemics), and the speaking style used (together with the tone, pitch, volume, and rate of speaking the words such as harried, urgent, or demanding, known as prosody). It is collectively termed as kinesics or the study of body language (Birdwhistell, 2011).
Modern civilization came about as the result of the use of sophisticated communications through verbal and non-verbal means; the spoken word, speech, and language are used to convey ideas and thoughts to other people. While this is a cultural universal (meaning it appears in all the cultures of the world), there are certain specific meanings or nuances involved in each type of culture where language is used. While kinesics is admittedly an important emerging field of study for sociologists, highly-evolved societies employ a variety of means to convey messages in a way that kinesics cannot. People in all cultures value the importance of a positive self-image as a way to structure the hierarchy in a society that in turn helps people to maintain harmony.
When people interact with each other, it is the spoken word that is primarily used to aid in conveying a message but this process is a complex one as it involves both the speaker and the listener. Put differently, a speaker has to make a careful choice of words to ensure his listener is not put in a bad light or in a difficult situation; messages and their meaning must be conveyed in the right way to avoid unintentional embarrassment, possible conflict or undue misunderstanding which can harm interpersonal relationships and negate the very purpose of communication. This desire to maintain excellent social relationships gives rise to the concept of face or ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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