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The interplay of (im)politeness, conflict styles, rapport management, and metacommunication in Brazilian–German interaction

Authors
  • Schröder, Ulrike
Type
Published Article
Journal
Intercultural Pragmatics
Publisher
De Gruyter Mouton
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2014
Volume
11
Issue
1
Pages
57–82
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/ip-2014-0003
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Based on authentic homileic conversations between Brazilians and Germans in which critical incidents occur, I will set out the complexity of factors interplaying in the course of multi-personal interaction. The chosen situations are taken from a videotaped session of a two-hour discussion between four Brazilian and four German students at the University of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. After the video shoot, retrospective interviews were held with each participant in order to comprehend his/her extra-communicative, (self-)reflexive standpoint with respect to their actions. The following analysis brought out a subtle interplay between verbal, nonverbal, and paraverbal contextualization cues in (im)politeness strategies and forms of rapport management, as well as metacommunicative strategies for the management of the gaps between one's “own” and “other culture” experience. It will be shown that the immediate context, as well as the participants' theories on communication and the other culture, have to be considered to understand that so-called “misunderstandings” may in fact often be ascribed to (un)intended face-threatening acts aiming at questioning or negotiating cultural values.

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