Identity Implications of Influence Goals: Similarities in Perceived face Threats and Facework Across Sex and Close Relationships
Wilson, Steven R.
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This study tests the generalizability of Wilson, Aleman, & Leatham’s revised analysis of face threats and facework during compliance-gaining episodes. According to this revised analysis, threats to face arise from tacit knowledge about (a) specific influence goals (e.g., giving advice, asking favors) and (b) the rules for directives (e.g., requests) that underlie any attempt to seek compliance. Both types of knowledge are shared widely; hence, the distinct face threats of advice versus favors should generalize across sex and close relationships. Message sources give reasons as facework to redress particular face threats in an episode defined by a specific influence goal; hence, patterns of reason giving also should differ in advice versus favor episodes. Participants (N = 231 undergraduates) recalled an actual conversation in which they either gave advice to or asked a favor of a close same-sex friend, opposite-sex friend, or romantic partner and then rated threats to the message target’s face and their own. Results for both perceived face threats and reason giving are consistent with the revised analysis. Comparisons with Brown and Levinson’s politeness theory, as well as implications for future research, are drawn.
Wilson, S. R., & Kunkel, A. W. (2000). Identity implications of influence goals: Similarities in perceived face threats and facework across sex and close relationships. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 19, 195-221. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0261927X00019002002
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