The Social Sciences

Year: 2011
Volume: 6
Issue: 1
Page No. 1 - 7

A Comparative Study of Reprimand Strategies: Evidence from Iranian and American Speech Communities

Authors : Mohammad Javad Ahmadian and Abbass Eslami-Rasekh

Abstract: This study explores the strategies used by Iranian and American participants when reprimanding and identifies their preferred politeness strategies. As an initial step, open role-play situations were performed by 25 Americans and 35 Iranians in order to elicit reprimands and responses to reprimands in 4 different situations. Second, interviews were carried out to find out the participants’ perceptions regarding reprimanding strategies. The study suggests that there are indeed some differences between the 2 cultures regarding this speech act, since the participants from these two backgrounds tend to use distinctive strategies. Data elicited in post-performance interviews revealed that in some situations (e.g., in the situations when the target of reprimand has a higher status than the reprimander), the Iranians tended to be more reluctant to make a reprimand whereas the Americans avoid reprimanding less frequently. This study further supports the idea that speech acts are culturally laden and their understanding can hinder or encourage communication across cultures.

How to cite this article:

Mohammad Javad Ahmadian and Abbass Eslami-Rasekh, 2011. A Comparative Study of Reprimand Strategies: Evidence from Iranian and American Speech Communities. The Social Sciences, 6: 1-7.

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