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Intercultural Politeness
Managing Relations across Cultures

  • Publication planned for: December 2021
  • availability: Not yet published - available from December 2021
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107176225

$ 110.00

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About the Authors
  • It is increasingly important in our globalised world for people to successfully manage interpersonal relationships. This is the first book to tackle this vital topic, by taking an interdisciplinary approach to exploring the process of relating across cultures. Drawing together key concepts from politeness theory, intercultural communication, and cross-cultural/intercultural psychology, it provides a robust framework for analysing and understanding intercultural encounters. It explores the ways in which individuals make judgements about others, deal with offence and conflict, maintain smooth relations, and build new relationships. These processes are explained conceptually and illustrated extensively with authentic intercultural examples and empirical data. With accessible explanations and follow-up activities, it will appeal not only to academics working in the areas of intercultural communication, pragmatic theory, conflict research and other related academic disciplines, but also to students of these topics, as well as professionals such as intercultural trainers and those working in the third sector.

    • Draws together concepts and theories in politeness theory and intercultural communication/ psychology
    • Designed with reader-friendly features, such as detailed concept boxes, experiential examples, and exercises
    • Provides a robust framework for analysing intercultural interaction to help readers to understand the various factors affecting intercultural encounters, and to apply the insights to personal experiences without stereotyping
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'With a firm focus on the negotiation of relationships in context, Helen Spencer-Oatey and Daniel Kadar provide an immensely useful discussion of theory, methodology, and applications in intercultural research on politeness. Their analyses draw on their extensive research experience and are illuminated by data from a wide range of sources, making this an engaging text which researchers, practitioners and students will find stimulating.' Janet Holmes, Emeritus Professor of Linguistics, Victoria University of Wellington

    'This is an extraordinarily rich textbook on the cross-cultural management of interpersonal relationships, embedded in a state-of-the-art knowledge of recent research on the impact of our many cultural identities on how we communicate with others and the cooperative or conflictual results that follow. Both authors are recognized scholars in their respective areas of social psychology and in linguistic pragmatics but also have extensive experience in living and working successfully across cultural lines. Their academic backgrounds and personal experience produce a book that is both sophisticated in its appreciation of culture and practical in its application to the real world of interacting across cultural lines. Reading this book would be informative and enlightening to academics and students in the disciplines of social psychology, intercultural communication, discourse analysis and socio-pragmatics, as well as to professionals working in contexts of cultural diversity. Eminently readable and readily applicable.' Michael Harris Bond, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

    'This wide-ranging multidisciplinary collation of research over-layered with original thinking is a jaw-droppingly impressive achievement. Both theoretical and applied, we (researchers, practitioners, students) are guided by the authors through the complexities of intercultural politeness with an easy yet assured hand, assisted by copious examples, diagrams and clarity of writing. This is a book that will reverberate through scholarship for many years to come.' Jonathan Culpeper, Lancaster University

    'Emphasizing interpersonal relationships in intercultural settings, the authors offer an elegant integration of theoretical inputs, empirical evidences, concrete experiential examples, and practical reflections questions on intercultural politeness. The book is a timely contribution to our world that is in need of enhanced competences for intercultural connection.' Yih-Teen Lee, IESE Business School, University of Navarra

    'As the world becomes a global village through increased intercultural contacts amidst the complexities of ethnic discriminations wrought by Covid-19 (Kulich et al, in press) the book Intercultural Politeness couldn't have come out at a better time. This book provides a thorough analysis of managing intercultural relations across cultures. Aside from their excellent pedagogical approach in laying bare the complex concepts of culture, politeness and intercultural relations, Spencer-Oatey and Kádár draw upon several experiential anecdotes from their travels and sojourns across the globe to make the issues real and timely. In two words, I will describe this book as 'interesting and educative'. The authors do an excellent job in taking the reader on a discovery journey. Across the 17 chapters, the authors take the reader from the barest rudimentary level to a rock-solid foundation of the intricacies of managing intercultural relations of modern societies. The reader simply cannot miss the finesse in the building blocks that the authors use when they intersperse each chapter with boxes of research report excerpts and their personal encounters. These research reports will undoubtedly wet any reader's appetite for going to the original source. The book is absolutely a must-read textbook by anyone interested in understanding intercultural relations.' David Sam, University of Bergen, Norway

    'If you are interested in a culture-sensitive and situationally-attuning scholarly book that weaves the domains of linguistic pragmatics, intercultural communication, and cross-cultural psychology seamlessly, read this book! Through a rigorous examination of the different approaches that contribute to an understanding of the various intercultural encountering processes, Dr Spencer-Oatey and Dr Kádár have succeeded in telling a compelling story of the multilayered dynamics of intercultural politeness and (im)politeness. Presenting extensive intercultural critical incidents, experiential discourse examples, and well-analysed research schemas, the book helps promote competent relationship-building sensibilities across cultures.' Stella Ting-Toomey, California State University, Fullerton, USA

    'Aware of diverse approaches to trans-, cross-, or inter-cultural communications, Helen Spencer-Oatey and Dániel Kádár remind us that no matter what our framework or approach, successful interactions happen when satisfying relationships are fostered, established, and maintained, and that 'intercultural politeness' is often a key part of those. Moving beyond classic 'politeness theory,' this work integrates a wide range of frameworks, provides data, and offers in-depth insights into the dynamics of politeness in different cultural contexts. The authors insightfully apply these to contexts like the workplace, small talk, intercultural friendships, as well how emics like guanxi are worked out in assumed etics like intercultural competence. Masterful, concise, and compelling - a must read for anyone who values a research base to enjoy better relationships!' Steve Kulich, President, The International Academy for Intercultural Research (IAIR)

    'The book is intended for researchers into intercultural theory, pragmatics and conflict research but is also relevant for intercultural trainers and language teachers. Each chapter ends with a summary and some with questions for reflection and discussion in class.' Maurice Cassidy, Training, Language and Culture

    '… a much-needed book … In our current globalised world, it could be argued that anyone could benefit from this book!' Dely L Elliot, Social Psychological Review

    '… the book appropriate for advanced students, scholars, and intercultural trainers.' L. B. Jabs, Choice

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: December 2021
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107176225
    • length: 300 pages
    • dimensions: 155 x 235 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.73kg
    • availability: Not yet published - available from December 2021
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    Part I. Conceptual Foundations:
    2. Conceptualising politeness
    3. Conceptualising culture
    Part II. Evaluating Politeness across Cultures:
    4. Overview of the politeness evaluation process
    5. Contextual assessments and culture
    6. Norms, expectations and culture
    7. Evaluation warrant 1: culture and the bases of rapport
    8. Evaluation warrant 2: culture and conceptions of the socio-moral order
    9. Making judgements and culture
    10. Application: data analysis sample and practice
    Part III. Managing Politeness across Cultures:
    11. Managing politeness across cultures: an overview
    12. Responding to offencess and restoring relations
    13. Dealing with disagreement and conflict
    14. Maintaining smooth intercultural relations
    15. Initiating and fostering positive intercultural relations
    Part IV. Implications and Concluding Comments:
    16. Implications for politeness theory
    17. Implications for the intercultural field.

  • Authors

    Helen Spencer-Oatey, University of Warwick
    Helen Spencer-Oatey is Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Warwick. Her academic background is in both psychology and linguistics, and she draws on both disciplines in her well-known work on rapport management and intercultural relations. Her popular books include Culturally Speaking (2008) and Intercultural Interaction (with Peter Franklin, 2009).

    Dániel Z. Kádár, Dalian University of Foreign Languages, and Hungarian Research Institute for Linguistics (NYTI)
    Dániel Z. Kádár is Chair Professor and Head of Research Centre in Dalian University of Foreign Languages, China and Research Professor at the Research Institute for Linguistics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He is author/editor of twenty-five books and has expertise in intercultural and cross-cultural pragmatics, interactional rituals and East Asian languages. He is Co-Editor in Chief of Contrastive Pragmatics: A Cross-Disciplinary Journal.

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