ImpolitenessCulpeper (2011): Impoliteness: Using Language to Cause Offence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Culpeper (2001) provides a framework based on Spencer-Oatey’s (2000) notion of Rapport Management with which researchers can analyze impoliteness events in terms of face management as well as sociality rights. Rapport Management asserts that politeness and, later, impoliteness, are not based solely on the preservation an individual’s self-image (i.e., their positive or negative face [Brown & Levinson, 1987]), but rather their association to others and their roles in the community play roles as well. This framework is comprised of Quality face, Social Identity face, Relational face, Equity rights, and Association rights. Definitions of these concepts are provided below. Culpeper adds taboo words and topics as other possible indicators of impoliteness that do not fit into these five categories.
He applies this framework to cross-cultural data from England, Germany, Turkey, Finland, and China in order to observe cultural differences in impoliteness events. He finds that Quality face attacks are the most prevalent in the majority of these cultures with the exception of the German and Chinese data. Overall, Quality face attacks and violations to Equity and Association rights were the most popular offense cross-culturally. However, Relation face attacks are considered more impolite in the German and Chinese data than in the other observed cultures. Interestingly, Social identity face attacks and taboo words were considered more impolite in the English data than in the other cultures.