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Rapport and identity management in Spanish spontaneous dialogue
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, Spanish.
2007 (English)In: Research on politeness in the Spanish-speaking world / [ed] María Elena Placencia, Carmen García, Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum , 2007, 335-365 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A comprehensive model of rapport and identity management based on various recent proposals for modifying mainstream (in particular Brown/Levinson-influenced politeness theory) is outlined and thereafter applied to spontaneous Spanish conversational data. Three basic assumptions underlie the suggested model, viz. the dialogistic approach to language structure and functions, the co-constitutive view of discourse and a means-end perspective on communication.

                      Identity is conceptualised, both dynamically and statically, as the outcome of a process in which membership and individuality are negotiated in and through interaction. It can be analysed into a set of components with a complex pattern of interdependencies. Membership (or collective identity) is understood to be the result of three kinds of sharing - that of codes, that of knowledge and that of concerns and topics - whereas individuality (or individual identity) is seen as the socially negotiated attribution of roles and properties to individuals. Identity is seen as intimately connected with the 'face' concept of Goffman(1967), and related to that of 'positive face' in the framework of Brown/Levinson (1987). Inspired by recent proposals by Spencer-Oatey (2000), face is subdivided into various components, each related to an aspect of collective or individual identity, viz. likeness, cooperativeness, excellence, role fulfilment and hierarchy. Face, understood in this sense, is considered to be distinct from various phenomena that have often been connected with the somewhat fuzzy idea of 'negative face', namely territory (or agenda), interpersonal 'equity', interpersonal 'indebtedness balance' and the weighting of interpersonal distance and proximity. Face needs are understood to be negotiated in dialogue as a prerequisite for being granted membership and individuality.

In the suggested model, activities of rapport and identity management are categorised along three dimensions: strengthening vs. weakening action, target-directedness vs. target-avoidance, and self-directedness vs. other-directedness. Four basic areas of rapport and identity management are taken into consideration, viz. own-image management, other-image management, own-territory management and other-territory management. Examples taken from data consisting of four-party conversations in Spanish are presented in order to illustrate how a comprehensive rapport-and-identity-management analysis may be put into practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum , 2007. 335-365 p.
Keyword [en]
agenda, face, dialogism, identity, individuality, membership, politeness, rapport management, sociality rights, socio-pragmatics, territory
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-33278ISBN: 978-0-8058-5227-1OAI: diva2:282865
Available from: 2009-12-22 Created: 2009-12-22 Last updated: 2011-06-16Bibliographically approved

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