Using a wide range of data from real-life speech situations, this introduction to politeness theory breaks away from the limitations of current models. It argues that the proper object of study in politeness theory must be "common sense" definitions of politeness and impoliteness. Richard Watts concludes that a more appropriate model, based on Bourdieu's concept of social practice, can thus be developed.


"Politeness is a challenging, insightful, and provocative approach to the study of politeness phenomena...thoughtful and engaging..."
Women and Language

"...the book stands as a useful introduction to the study of linguistic politness, and is notable for its attention to the play of force relations in constituting social interaction."
Canadian Journal of Sociology Online

"...a valuable overview of the literature."
Current Anthropology

'… this book is a unique book length work, offering an excellent review of the literature on politeness theories and adopting a discourse analytic approach to data. As such, it will be most beneficial to both first-time travelers to the world of politeness, as well as to others with a desire to advance their knowledge within the area.' Journal of Sociolinguistics