|Title||Im/politeness, social practice and the participation order|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, im/politeness, evaluation, social practice, moral order, participation framework, Conversation Analysis, Discursive Psychology, Ethnomethodology|
|Journal||Journal of Pragmatics|
Im/politeness is often conceptualised as the hearer’s evaluation of a speaker’s behaviour in discursive politeness research, representing the broader concern with the participant’s perspective in current im/politeness research. Yet despite the importance afforded evaluations in such approaches, the notion of evaluation itself has remained, with just a few notable exceptions, remarkably under-theorised in pragmatics. In this paper it is proposed, building on work from discursive psychology and ethnomethodology, that im/politeness evaluations are intimately inter-related with the interactional achievement of social actions and pragmatic meanings vis-à-vis the moral order, and thus evaluations of im/politeness can be ultimately understood as a form of social practice. However, it is argued that an analysis of im/politeness as social practice necessitates a move away from a simplistic speaker-hearer model of interaction to a consideration of the broader participation framework (Goffman, 1981) within which they arise, and the positioning of the analysts vis-à-vis that participation order. A key finding from close analysis of evaluations of im/politeness in interaction relative to these participation footings is that they are distributed, variable and cumulative in nature.