Politeness theory is effective for most cultures but sometimes not applicable. Notably, Politeness theory sustains positive individuals’ universality and the negative face that cultures require. In daily interactions, people always do things that threaten face; consequently, they employ politeness strategy to mitigate threats. However, this politeness theory faces challenges at two cultures’ levels (Locher & Bousfield, 2008). In the cross-cultural aspect, the scholars of East Asian challenge the universality and conceptualization of politeness theory. They posit that face has interdependence and relational in East Asia compared to the West’s face nature (Locher & Bousfield, 2008).
The pertinent variation in conceptualizing the face yields differences in the extent to which speech-threatening face and a motivation to apply politeness. In one culture, the model of Brown and Levinson model politeness is relatively perceived critical at a personal level in describing how an individual chooses the politeness strategy in mitigating face threats (Culpeper, 2011). The latest research advances that politeness needs cultural examination that considers the social and contextual aspects in the community where it is practiced, as is the case of the films in the West and east.
Politeness theory use in the films is mostly suggested that individuals’ approaches used in social interactions are applied to save the face of the hearer in the effect of actions that threaten face FTAs (Locher& Bousfield, 2008).
As put by Brown and Levinson, the face-threatening acts infringe the needs of the hearers towards maintaining their respect and self-esteem. Brown and Levinson consented that face notion is universally accepted as value or norm as subscribed by society. Nonetheless, the politeness approach is criticized by the East’s pragmatics, and that the theory needs not to be viewed as universally accepted. This is because the differences in cultures posited by the pragmatics from the non-west say that what is accepted in the West should not be described as universally accepted in other cultures as criticized by Fukuda, Pizziconi, and Asato. (Locher& Bousfield, 2008).
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