Politeness Strategies: Rapport Theory

Politeness and rapport management are concerned with the ways in which people relate to one another and keep relations smooth. This is never easy at the best of times but can be particularly difficult in intercultural contexts. This is because people from different cultural backgrounds may hold differing beliefs and opinions as to what is polite or appropriate to do or say in given situations.

This entry describes the core elements that underlie people’s perceptions of politeness and rapport, outlines the strategies for managing them, explores the ways in which culture can affect the processes, and finally relates these concepts to intercultural competence.

Core Elements

Most people have an intuitive understanding of politeness and may think of it as an everyday concept. However, in the branch of ...

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