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(Non)Compliance with directives among family and friends: Responding to social pressure and individual wants

Authors
  • Placencia, María Elena1
  • 1 Birkbeck College, University of London, UK , (United Kingdom)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Intercultural Pragmatics
Publisher
De Gruyter Mouton
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2008
Volume
5
Issue
3
Pages
315–344
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/IPRG.2008.015
Source
De Gruyter
License
Yellow

Abstract

This study explores how middle-class Quiteños respond to certain convivial directives among family and friends that they are unable or unwilling to comply with. It examines some of the strategies which Quiteños employ to deal with the tensions that can arise from two conflicting forces: social pressure and individual wants. Close ties among family members and intimate friends often make refusals to certain directives difficult, so that people feel obliged to comply because of el compromiso (social) (i.e., the obligation that relations of kin or friendship impose). On the other hand, when there is less closeness, token acceptances and avoidance strategies may be employed for face-saving purposes. Both sets of behavior (compliance and non-compliance) are interpreted in terms of the underlying interpersonal ideology of connectedness (Fitch 1998) that seems to operate in Quiteño society. Within this ideology, relationships can take precedence over the individual's o .wn desires; if however, the bonds are less strong, people find ways of responding to social pressure without actually acting contrary to their own wishes.

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