Vasiliki Saloustrou (KCL) - 2018-19 Students

Lay im/politeness understandings in Greek friendship groups: analysing im/politeness in ongoing interaction and in narrative

My thesis cross-fertilises im/politeness research with identities analysis (e.g., Garcés-Conejos Blitvich and Georgakopoulou 2021) by examining lay understandings of im/politeness in face-to-face naturally-occurring interactions. It particularly seeks to understand how members of two Greek friendship groups living abroad (co-)construct and negotiate more or less explicit evaluations of im/politeness both in ongoing interactions and in narratives about present or absent others in their informal coffee meetings. This topic has proved hard to investigate, given that participants scarcely evaluate their co-interactants’ behaviour as ‘polite’ or ‘rude’ in the flow of interaction (Haugh 2007). And while the implicit (indexical) aspects of im/politeness evaluations have received scant scholarly attention (e.g., Haugh 2013; Ogiermann 2019), more ink has been spilled on explicit (metapragmatic) comments, yet mainly in elicited data and corpus analyses (e.g., Fukushima and Sifianou 2017; Culpeper and Haugh 2020). My aim is to address these gaps by exploring the entire spectrum of implicit and explicit evaluations mobilised by participants in spontaneous everyday interactions. To attain this, I mainly draw on audio- and video-recorded interactions (73 hours), supplemented by participant observations in London and Copenhagen, where the two groups of participants are located, and a series of playback interviews. The micro-analyses of interactional data draw from the CA apparatus, which has only partially been integrated with im/politeness scholarship, while the analysis of interactional narratives draws on Georgakopoulou’s (2007) small stories framework and Bamberg’s (1997) model of positioning. In doing so, this thesis makes contributions both to im/politeness-in-interaction and to narrative-and-identities research.

Primary supervisor: Dr. Eva Ogiermann, KCL
Secondary supervisor: Prof. Alexandra Georgakopoulou, KCL

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