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Apology behaviour - Essay Example

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The focus in this paper is on how different authors deal with apologies as part of their wider work. This paper will consider first the theoretical background of the apology and then it will survey the very many empirical studies that have been conducted on apologies…
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Apology behaviour
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Download file to see previous pages According to the research findings an apology always involves at least two people who are linked in some kind of context which involves a mistake or wrong doing the person which affects the other person. Apologies were considered as part of speech act theory by Austin. In this theory apologies are described as “performatives” and they are illocutionary acts also. Performatives are speech acts that actually do something, for example, when a person makes a promise or declares an oath, or expresses thanks, or makes an apology, the saying of the words constitutes an action of promising, swearing, thanking or apologising. This means that the speaker is concerned to make clear what the intention and emotional commitment behind the words actually is, and that the saying of the words changes the situation in some way and commits the speaker to a changed position. The words are not just empty formulae, they have a some power to affect the relationships of the people involved. Because Austin also considers the function of these speech acts, this theory falls into the category of pragmatics. Austin uses the terminology of “attitudes and social behaviour”. Austin’s work was important in terms of theory but his insistence on using set phrases such as “I apologise” as his examples means that he was able to consider only a fraction of the possible types of apology that are possible. As theory his work is interesting, and the concept of performatives is very useful, as far as it goes. It provides a theoretical starting point for analysis of apologies which other scholars can build upon. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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