Academic journal article Cross - Cultural Communication

Conversational Moves in Talking about Body-Image in All Female Interactions/MOUVEMENT CONVERSATIONNEL DANS LA DISCUSSION SUR L'IMAGE DU CORPS DANS TOUTES LES INTERACTIONS FÉMININES

Academic journal article Cross - Cultural Communication

Conversational Moves in Talking about Body-Image in All Female Interactions/MOUVEMENT CONVERSATIONNEL DANS LA DISCUSSION SUR L'IMAGE DU CORPS DANS TOUTES LES INTERACTIONS FÉMININES

Article excerpt

Abstract:

This paper examines the extracts taken from daily conversations as well as from a serial TV play respectively involving female postgraduate students and professional women. The aim of this research is to see whether Guendouzi's (2004) conversational moves in talking about body-size can be generalized. The extracts are analyzed based on Guendouzi's model and Brown and Levinson's (1987) face threat theory. It is found that Guendouzi's model is only applicable in the circumstance when the speaker exposes herself to face threat. A new model, which fits the situation when the speaker exposes the hearer to face threat, has been tentatively noted based on the analysis of data.

Key words: body-image, face threat, politeness, conversational moves

Résumé: Le présent article examine des extraits des conversations quotidiennes ainsi que ceux d'un feuilleton télévisuel qui concernent respectivement les étudiantes chercheuses et les femmes professionnelles. Le but de cette étude est de vérifier si le mouvement conversationnel de Guendouzi (2004) dans la discussion sur la taille du corps peut être généralisé. Les extraits sont analysés sur la base du modèle de Guendouzi et la théorie d'affronter le menace de Brown et Levinson (1987). On trouve que le modèle de Guendouzi n'est applicable qu'à la circonstance dans laquelle l'orateur expose lui-même au menace. Un nouveau modèle, qui convient à la situation dans laquelle l'orateur expose l'auditeur au menace, a été expérimentalement marqué sur la base de l'analyse des données.

Mots-Clés: image du corps, affronter le menace, politesse, mouvement conversationnel

(ProQuest: ... denotes non-USASCII text omitted.)

1. LITERATURE REVIEW

1.1 Body-image

Body-image not only is a popular topic in mass media but also captures the attention of researchers in academic field. As physical appearance is tied to women's social identity (Guendouzi, 2001), women expect to present themselves in a socially accepted way. Thus the ideal body-image has come to be emphasized. As Guendouzi put it, media plays an important role in "constructing the socialized gender image" (p.31). Therefore, the image appeared in media is very influencing and the young and extremely slim women are taken as the ideal image to pursue.

According to Parker et, al (1995, cited in Schooler, Merriwether & Caruthers, 2004, p.38), young women describe the perfect ideal physical appearance as tall, extremely thin and blonde. However, the standard of ideal body-image differs in different cultures. In the United States, the blonde Hollywood actresses present the ideal image in their culture. In China, the standard varies in different centuries. In Han Dynasty slender body was admired. In Tang Dynasty, the image of women was emphasized on roundness and corpulence. In modern China, the image of ideal body focuses on slenderness.

Studies on body-image have tended to focus on the relationship between body- image and eating disorders (e.g. Harrison & Cantor, 1997; Harrison, 2000, Jung & Forbes, 2007). A few studies analyzed the conversations about body-image among female friends. Based on the analysis of the extracts of women "bitching", Guendouzi reveals that women not only cooperate in their conversation but also compete for the "socially acceptable image of femininity" (2001, p.29). Guendouzi (2004) by analyzing extracts from women's daily conversation reveals that the speaker's positive face is exposed to threat in talking about body-size and the need to diet. Specific conversational moves in talking about body-size have been noted based on the analysis of data. (See figure 1, cited in Guendouzi, 2004, p. 164).

However, Guendouzi (2004) only discusses one circumstance of the conversation about body-size, that is, the speaker initiates BSA and exposes herself to potential face threat. There is another case that the speaker may initiate the comment on the hearer's body-image and expose the hearer to potential face threat. …

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