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

Author Information

Lorena M. Taglucop,
University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines, the Philippines

DOI: 10.47298/cala2022.4-1
The GLOCAL Proceedings:  The GLOCAL Conference in Asia 2022


This ethnographic study explores 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 requires more effort in making requests, and greater power suggests more control in the flow of communication. The less familiar one is with the other, the greater the social distance and the more formal that language use becomes. The more inconvenient the imposition, the more LPS was employed to increase the possibility of the imposition being addressed. Recommendations for further research include implications for the socialization process and the facilitation of communication between mentor and those being socialized in the new normal.

Keywords: Linguistic politeness strategies, linguistic anthropology, power, ethnography, thick description

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