Impoliteness in institutional and non-institutional contexts (La descortes en contextos institucionales y no institucionales)

Silvia Kaul de Marlangeon


The analysis of impoliteness has mainly concentrated on the relation between text and context itself rather than on the differences between types of contexts. The aim of this study is to compare impoliteness in both institutional and non-institutional contexts. The institutional contexts to be dealt with are: A) face-to-face political debate and B) army recruit training. The selected non-institutional contexts are C) the Tango lyrics of the 1920s and D) the interaction among lower middle-class people who speak River Plate Spanish.
In a previous paper (Kaul de Marlangeon 2005a), I proposed the category of fustigation impoliteness by refractoriness or exacerbated affiliation where refractoriness and exacerbated affiliation function as counterparts to Bravos categories of politeness, autonomy and affiliation. In the present paper and within the theoretical and methodological framework for the study of fustigation impoliteness, I deal with three of the above mentioned contexts A) , B) and C), and the type of fustigation impoliteness that characterises each of them. In my analysis I show that in face-to-face political debate and military recruit training impoliteness is public, bi-directional in the former and unidirectional in the latter. In the Tango lyrics of the 1920s fustigation impoliteness is private and unidirectional. Finally in the context of interaction among lower middle-class people who speak River Plate Spanish, impoliteness is chronic, intra-group, private and multi-directional. For this kind of impoliteness the concepts of refractoriness and exacerbated affiliation do not apply because this impoliteness is about the relationship between an individual versus another individual within the same group rather than an individual versus the group.

Keywords: Fustigation impoliteness; Refractoriness; Exacerbated affiliation; Chronic intra-group impoliteness.

With Spanish summary.

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