‘Your care and concern are my burden!’: Accounting for the emic concepts of ‘attentiveness’ and ‘empathy’ in interpersonal relationships among Taiwanese females
Issue: Vol 2 No. 1 (2017)
Journal: East Asian Pragmatics
While the enactment of gendered identities has been a key focus in the field of sociolinguistics and im/politeness (e.g. Holmes, 1995; Lakoff, 1975; Mills, 2003), research specifically investigating females’ emic understanding in relation to im/politeness has not been paid much attention. Building on prior work on ‘attentiveness’ (Fukushima, 2004, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015; Fukushima & Haugh, 2014), this article aims to further examine the emic understandings and evaluations of ‘attentiveness’ and ‘empathy’ in relation to ‘im/politeness’ by female speakers of Mandarin Chinese. It is suggested that, although the concepts of attentiveness (zhoudao) and empathy (titie) are intrinsically polite, these two concepts are found to be discursively disputable through the emergence of the three folk notions, meddlesomeness (jipo), familiarity, and reciprocity in the course of metapragmatic interviews. These notions give rise to cultural nuances in the evaluations of im/politeness which are thus grounded in a particular language or culture.
Author: Wei-Lin Melody Chang, Saeko Fukushima
Batson, D. C., Chang, J., Orr, R., & Rowland, J. (2002). Empathy, attitudes, and action: Can feeling for a member of a stigmatized group motivate one to help the group? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 28, 1656-1666. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/014616702237647
Chang, W.-L. (2016).
Chang, H.-C. & Holt, R. (1994). A Chinese perspective on face as inter-relation concern. In
S. Ting-Toomey (ed.) The Challenge of Facework (pp. 95-132). Albany: State University of New York Press.
Chang, W.-L. M. & Haugh, M. (2011). The strategic embarrassment and face threatening in
business interactions. Journal of Pragmatics 43, 2948-2963.
Cialdini, R. B. (2012). The focus theory of normative conduct. In P.A. M. Van Lange, A. W. Kruglanski, & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Handbook of theories of social psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 295-312). London: Sage. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781446249222.n41
Clancy, P. (1986). The acquisition of communicative style in Japanese. In B. Schieffelin & E. Ochs (Eds.), Language socialization across cultures (pp. 213-250). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Clancy, P. (1990). Acquiring communicative style in Japanese. In R. C. Scarcella, E. S. Andersen & S. D. Krashen (Eds.), Developing communicative competence in a second language (pp. 27-35). New York: Newbury House Publishers.
Eelen, G. (2001). A Critique of Politeness Theories. Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing.
Fukushima, S. (2004). Evaluation of politeness: The case of attentiveness. Multilingua, 23(4), 365-387. http://dx.doi.org/10.515/multi.2004.23.4.365
Fukushima, S. (2009). Evaluation of politeness: Do the Japanese evaluate attentiveness more positively than the British? Pragmatics, 19(4), 501-518. http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/prag.19.4.01fuk
Fukushima, S. (2011). A cross-generational and cross-cultural study on demonstration of attentiveness. Pragmatics, 21(4), 549-571. http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/prag.21.4.03fuk
Fukushima, S. (2013). Evaluation of (im)politeness: A comparative study among Japanese students, Japanese parents and American students on evaluation of attentiveness. Pragmatics 23(2), 275-299. http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/prag.23.2.04fuk
Fukushima, S. (2015). In search of another understanding of politeness: From the perspective of attentiveness. Journal of Politeness Research, 11(2), 261-287. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/pr-2015-0011
Fukushima, S. (2016). Emic understandings of attentiveness and its related concepts among Japanese. East Asian Pragmatics 1(2), 181-208. http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/eap.vli2.31762
Fukushima, S., & Haugh, M. (2014). The role of emic understandings in theorizing im/politeness: The metapragmatics of attentiveness, empathy and anticipatory inference in Japanese and Chinese. Journal of Pragmatics 74, 165-179. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2014.08.004
Gabrenya, W. K. J., & Hwang, K.-K. (1996). Chinese Social Interaction: Harmony and
Hierachy on the Good Earth. In M. H. Bond (Ed.) Chinese Psychology (pp. 309-321). New York: Oxford University Press.
Garfinkel, H. (1967). Studies in ethnomethodology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Gao, G., Ting-Toomey, S., & Gudykunst, W. B. (1996). Chinese communication processes.
In M. H. Bond (Ed.) Chinese Psychology (pp. 280-293). New York: Oxford University Press.
Goodwin, C. & Tang, C. S.-K. (1996). Chinese Personal Relationships. In M. H. Bond (Ed.)
Chinese Psychology (pp. 294-308). New York: Oxford University Press.
Gouldner, A.W. (1960). The norm of reciprocity: a preliminary statement. American Sociological Review 25, 161–178.
Grainger, K. (2011). ‘First order’ and ‘second order’ politeness: Institutional and intercultural contexts. In Linguistic Politeness Research Group (Ed.), Discursive approaches to politeness (pp. 167-188). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Grainger, K. (2014). Rethinking conventional indirectness: The view from interactional sociolinguistics. Paper presented at the 8th International Symposium on Politeness. University of Huddersfield. 9-11 July, 2014.
Greenberg, M. (1980). A theory of indebtedness. In G. Kenneth, M. Greenberg, R. Willis (Eds.), Social Exchange: Advances in Theory and Research (pp. 3–26). New York: Plenum Press.
Haugh, M. (2007). Emic conceptualisations of (im)politeness and face in Japanese: Implications for the discursive negotiation of second language learner identities. Journal of Pragmatics 39, 657-680. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2006.12.005
Haugh, M. (2012). Epilogue: The first-second order distinction in face and politeness research. Journal of Politeness Research, 8(1), 111-134. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/pr-2012-0007
Haugh, M. (2013). Disentangling face, facework and im/politeness. Sociocultural Pragmatics 1(1), 46-73.
Haugh, M. (2016). The role of English as a scientific metalanguage for research in pragmatics: Reflections on the metapragmatics of ‘politeness’ in Japanese. East Asian Pragmatics 1(1), 39-71. http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/eap.vlil.27610
Haugh, M., Kádár, D., & Mills, S. (2013). Interpersonal pragmatics: Issues and debates. Journal of Pragmatics, 58, 1-11. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2013.09.009
Hsiang, T. C. (1974). Research on Chinese characteristics. Taipei: Shang-wu Publishing Company.
Liu, J.-R. (2011, April 14) Taiwan hua de yuyuan yu liju.[Blog post] (retrieved from https://taiwanlanguage.wordpress.com/2011/04/14, viewed on 4th September 2016).
Intachakra, S. (2012). Politeness motivated by the ‘heart’ and ‘binary rationality’ in Thai culture. Journal of Pragmatics 44, 619-635. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2011.07.016
Kádár, D. Z. (2013). Relational rituals and communication. New York: Palgrave.
Kádár, D. Z., & Haugh, M. (2013). Understanding politeness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139382717
Kádár, D. Z., & Pan, Y. (2011). Politeness in China. In D. Kádár & S. Mills (Ed.), Politeness in East Asia. (pp.125-146). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Krone K., Garrett, M., & Chen, L. (1992). Managerial communication practices in Chinese factories: A preliminary investigation. The Journal of Business Communication 29, 229--52.
Lakoff, R. (1975). Language and Woman’s Place. New York: Harper & Row.
Lebra, T. S. (1976). Japanese patterns of behavior. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Lebra, T. S. (1993). Culture, self, and communication in Japan and the United States. In W. Gudykunst (Ed.), Communication in Japan and the United States (pp. 51-87). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Lebra, T. S. (2004). The Japanese self in cultural logic. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i press.
Ohashi, J. (2008). Linguistic rituals for Japanese thanking: balancing obligations. Journal of Pragmatics 40, 2150-2174.
Ohashi, J. (2013). Thanking and politeness in Japanese: Balancing acts in interaction. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Ohashi, J. and Chang, W.-L.M. (2017). (Im)politeness and relationality. In J. Culpepper, M. Haugh & D. Kádár (Eds.) Handbook of Linguisitc (Im)politeness. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Ogiermann, E., & Suszczyńska, M. (2011). On im/politeness behind the iron curtain. In F. Bargiela-Chiappini, & D. Z. Kádár (Eds.), Politeness across cultures (pp. 194-215). Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
Pan, Y., & Kádár, D. Z. (2010). Politeness in Historical and Contemporary Chinese.
Potter, J., & Hepburn, A. (2005). Qualitative interviews in psychology: problems and
possibilities. Qualitative Research in Psychology 2, 281-307.
Ran, Y. (2016a). ‘Equity rights im/politeness’ revisited: Evidence from rapport management in Chinese folk mediation. Plenary lecture at the 4th Linguistic Impoliteness, Aggression and Rudeness Conference (LIAR IV) at Manchester Metropolitan University, 12th-14th July, 2016.
Ran, Y. (2016b). Personal communication (An email message to S. Fukushima, the 8th September, 2016).
Schneider, M. J. (1985). Verbal and nonverbal indices of the communicative performance
and acculturation of Chinese immigrants. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 9, 271-283.
Scollon, R. & Scollen, S. W. (1991). Topic confusion in English-Asian discourse. World
Englishes 10(2), 113-125.
Sifianou, M., & Tzanne, A. 2010. Conceptualizations of politeness and impoliteness in Greek. Intercultural Pragmatics 7(4), 661-687.
Spencer-Oatey, H., & Kádár, D. 2016. The bases of (im)politeness evaluations: Culture, the moral order and the East-Weset debate. East Asian Pragmatics 1(1), 73-106. http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/eap.vlil.29084
Tao, L. (2010). Komyunikeshon koudou hyouka gainen “omoiyari” no nicchu hikaku コミュニケーション行動評価概念「思いやり」の日中比較 [Omoiyari as an evaluative concept of communicative behaviour: A contrastive analysis of Japanese and Chinese]. Kanagawa daigaku gengo kenkyu, 32, 93-108.
Watts, R. J. (2003). Politeness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Watts, R. J., Ide, S., & Ehlich, K. (1992). Introduction. In R. J. Watts, S. Ide & K. Ehlich (Eds.), Politeness in language: Studies in its history, theory and practice (pp. 1-17). Berlin Mouton de Gruyter.
Wierzbicka, A. (1997). Understanding cultures through their key words. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Yang, M. M.-H. (1994). Gifts, Favors and Banquests: The Art of Social Relationships in China. New York: Cornell University Press.
Ye, Z.-D. (2004). Chinese catergorization of interpersonal relationships and cultural logic of Chinese interaction: an indigenous perspective. Intercultural Pragmatics 1, 211-230.
Yuuki, T. (1991). Omoiyari no shisoo 思いやりの思想 [Thought on omoiyari]. Gendai no esupuri 291, 161-170.
Zhu, Y. (2015). The role of qing (positive emotion) and li (relationality) in Chinese Entrepreneurial decision making: a Confucius ren-yi wisdom perspective. Journal of Business Ethics 126, 613-630.