Mock impoliteness, jocular mockery and jocular abuse in Australian and British English

Haugh, Michael and Bousfield, Derek (2012) Mock impoliteness, jocular mockery and jocular abuse in Australian and British English. Journal of Pragmatics, 44 9: 1099-1114. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2012.02.003

Author Haugh, Michael
Bousfield, Derek
Title Mock impoliteness, jocular mockery and jocular abuse in Australian and British English
Journal name Journal of Pragmatics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0378-2166
Publication date 2012-07
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.pragma.2012.02.003
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 44
Issue 9
Start page 1099
End page 1114
Total pages 16
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Abstract Mock impoliteness in English has generally been approached in the context of theorising politeness or impoliteness. In this paper we undertake a cross-cultural, intra-English language sociopragmatic exploration of the way in which behaviour such as ‘banter’ is manifested, co-constructed and manipulated for social bonding purposes in both Australian and British varieties of English. The analysis focuses on explicating two particular interactional practices of banter, jocular mockery and jocular abuse, in male-only interpersonal interactions in (North West) Britain and Australia, and comparing the topics of such mockery and abuse. It is argued that jocular mockery and jocular abuse very often occasion evaluations of mock impoliteness, that is evaluations of potentially impolite behaviour as non-impolite, rather than politeness or impoliteness per se, and that these evaluations arise from a shared ethos that places value on “not taking yourself too seriously”. It is also suggested such evaluations are cumulative and differentially distributed in multi-party interactions. For these reasons we suggest the mock impoliteness constitutes an social evaluation in its right rather than constituting subsidiary form of either politeness or impoliteness.
Keyword Mock impoliteness
Jocular mockery
Jocular abuse
Variational pragmatics
Conversation analysis
Australian English
British English
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Languages and Cultures Publications
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Created: Mon, 23 May 2016, 15:33:02 EST by Ms Katrina Hume on behalf of School of Languages and Cultures