Politeness theory and refusals of requests: Face threat as a function of expressed obstacles

Danette Ifert Johnson, Michael Elwood Roloff, Melissa A. Riffee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

This investigation seeks to extend Wilson, Aleman, and Leatham's (1998) revision of Brown and Levinson's (1987) politeness theory by focusing on the relationship between face threat and refusals to requests. Results support that (a) when requests are refused, threats to the negative face needs of the requester are more prevalent than threats to the negative face of the refuser and (b) depending on the obstacle underlying the refusal, there are differences in type of threat present to the requester's positive face and the refuser's face needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-238
Number of pages12
JournalCommunication Studies
Volume55
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

Keywords

  • Politeness theory
  • compliance-resistance
  • refusals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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