How Polite can Impoliteness be? A Jordanian Gendered Perspective

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Gender, Impoliteness, Jordan, Culpeper, politeness


Contrary to the abundance of research on politeness in many languages, little research has been done on impoliteness, for, unlike politeness, impoliteness is essentially unmarked and, hence, defies direct observation. This study, which is informed by the work of Culpeper (1996, 2005, 2011), Brown and Levinson (1978, 1987), and Holmes (1995, 2008, 2013), attempts to examine impoliteness from a gender perspective. The data were collected from an equally divided sample of 100 male and female adults (age 20-79 years) from different regions of Jordan by means of a 31-item checklist of potentially impolite behaviors. The findings revealed an effect for gender as, despite evident similarities, male and female respondents manifest differences in their perceptions of what constitutes (im)polite behavior. The study concludes with recommendations for further research.


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Author Biographies

Rula Fahmi Bataineh, Jordan University of Science and Technology Irbid, Jordan

Rula Fahmi Bataineh is an assistant professor at the Department of English for Applied Studies at Jordan University of Science and Technology, Jordan.

Ruba F. Bataineh, Al-Ahliyya Amman University, Jordan

Ruba Fahmi Bataineh is a professor of TESOL at the Department of English and Translation, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and the director of the Language Center at Al-Ahliyya Amman University (on sabbatical leave from the Department of Curriculum and Methods of Instruction at Yarmouk University), Jordan.

Lara K. Andraws, American University School of the Middle East

Lara Kassab Andraws, an administrative assistant at American University School of the Middle East, Jordan, holds an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from Jordan University of Science and Technology, Jordan.


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How to Cite

Bataineh, R. F. ., Bataineh, R. F., & Andraws, L. K. (2023). How Polite can Impoliteness be? A Jordanian Gendered Perspective. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 10(5), 16–28.
Received 2023-06-20
Accepted 2023-08-17
Published 2023-12-19