Are Students Becoming Less Polite? Politeness Strategies, Sociological Variables, and Social Practices in Online Communication

Author: Lorena Taglucop (University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines)
Speaker: Lorena Taglucop
Topic: Sociolinguistics
Session Type: General Session


This ethnographic study explored the Linguistic Politeness Strategies (LPS) used in instructor-student conversations in online communication and the social factors that influence these strategies. Thick description was employed as a technique for analyzing data, describing verbal and non-verbal elements, and in determining other social behaviors in context. Results showed that LPS is observed in social behaviors in this study which included deference to authority, application of the one-in-need-approaches-first principle, and politeness in making requests. Negative Linguistic Politeness Strategy was most commonly used along with hedging in making apologies and requests. Lesser power required more effort in making requests, and greater power suggests more control in the flow of communication. The less familiar the one is with the other, the greater the social distance and the more formal the language use becomes. The more inconvenient the imposition, the more LPS were used to increase the possibility of the imposition being addressed. Recommendations for further research included implications for the teaching-learning process and facilitation of student-instructor communication in the New Normal.

Keywords: Linguistic Politeness Strategies, Negative Politeness, Power, Social Distance, Imposition, Online Communication, Social behavior