Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Guillermo Rodriguez

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Linguistics

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

Presentation Title

Is Hermione Really as Polite as She Seems? : Structuring Gendered Interactions Through Politeness Constructs in Harry Potter

Time

1:00 PM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Social Sciences

Abstract

We investigate how gender can interact with and influence the construction and implementation of politeness through the scope of interaction patterns found within the Harry Potter book series. We draw upon previous research done on politeness speech by Lakoff (1973), gendered politeness constructs as in De Felice and Garretson (2018), as well as research already done on politeness constructs at work within Harry Potter in Pleyer (2015).We are particularly building upon Pleyer by specifically looking at politeness, as opposed to impoliteness, as well as looking at how gender plays a role in these polite interactions.

In order to see how politeness constructs can be gendered, we compare and contrast politeness at work through different gendered interactions, these being female-male, male-male, and female-female interaction patterns. As this information is not clearly laid out by the author of the series, we assume that all characters being analyzed are cis-gendered. We distinguish politeness constructs as the words “please” and “thank you” and requests that include phrases such as “will you” and “can you.” We look to confirm whether a difference is at play in the usage of these politeness constructs when coded by the gender of both the speaker and the recipient. Further, after compiling the generalized patterns of politeness between different gendered interlocutors within the Harry Potter series, we will try to determine whether these patterns are indicative of or contrastive to a modern societal standard of politeness constructs.

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Is Hermione Really as Polite as She Seems? : Structuring Gendered Interactions Through Politeness Constructs in Harry Potter

We investigate how gender can interact with and influence the construction and implementation of politeness through the scope of interaction patterns found within the Harry Potter book series. We draw upon previous research done on politeness speech by Lakoff (1973), gendered politeness constructs as in De Felice and Garretson (2018), as well as research already done on politeness constructs at work within Harry Potter in Pleyer (2015).We are particularly building upon Pleyer by specifically looking at politeness, as opposed to impoliteness, as well as looking at how gender plays a role in these polite interactions.

In order to see how politeness constructs can be gendered, we compare and contrast politeness at work through different gendered interactions, these being female-male, male-male, and female-female interaction patterns. As this information is not clearly laid out by the author of the series, we assume that all characters being analyzed are cis-gendered. We distinguish politeness constructs as the words “please” and “thank you” and requests that include phrases such as “will you” and “can you.” We look to confirm whether a difference is at play in the usage of these politeness constructs when coded by the gender of both the speaker and the recipient. Further, after compiling the generalized patterns of politeness between different gendered interlocutors within the Harry Potter series, we will try to determine whether these patterns are indicative of or contrastive to a modern societal standard of politeness constructs.