Language and Power - Theorists

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  • Language + Power - theorists
    • Goffman - Face work
      • enhancing positive face
        • "you look beautiful today"
      • protecting negative face
        • "good try"
    • Fairclough - readers positioning
      • synthetic personalisation - direct address
        • second person pronoun "you"
        • possessive determiners "your"
        • 1sr person plural pronoun "we"
        • imperative commands
      • members  resources
        • background knowledge readers use to interpret texts which may be explicitly drawn upon by text producers
    • Brown + Levison - politeness theory
      • bold on record
        • used to shock, embarrass or make someone feel uncomfortable
        • "Give me that!"
      • positive politeness
        • usually used in group of friends or people who know each other well
        • used to minimize distance between people
        • "you really should sort of try harder"
      • negative politeness
        • assuming that you may be imposing on someone else +intruding their space might be social distance or awkwardness
        • "I just want to ask you if I could use your computer?"
      • off-record (indirect)
        • removing yourself from any imposition whatsoever
        • "it's cold in here"
    • influential power
      • power used to influence or persuade others
      • "thank you for observing our no smoking policy"
    • instrumental power
      • power used to maintain and enforce authority
      • Notice No Smoking Violation Will Result In Disciplinary Action
    • Accommodation Theory Giles
      • at least one person in a conversation will attempt to change their speech style
      • others will avoid it
      • convergence
        • someone switches their speech style to become more like the other participant
        • when talking to a child speed of speech is reduced
        • often used when we're talking to someone we like
      • divergence
        • when someone wishes not to be associated with someone or group linguistic style opposite to group
    • Overt and Covert Prestige
      • overt prestige
        • put on an accent widely recognised as being used by cultural dominant group
        • e.g. RP accent
        • putting on a posher accent than your regional accent to fit with dominant group
      • Covert Prestige
        • opposite to overt
        • putting on an accent to show regional group
        • to show exclusive community
        • used to gain street cred in local community


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