Apology Discourse

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Research on apologies is: highly cross disciplinary; conducted mainly in different areas of sociology and linguistics, and focusing on both apology expressions and accounts. Goffman’s work on remedial interchanges, based on observations of everyday public encounters, has examined the role of apologies in preserving the “territories of the self.” It has also inspired the view on apologies offered by politeness theory, where apologies are viewed as strategies acknowledging the other’s right to nondistraction. At the same time, scholars working in the area of conflict resolution in private as well as in legal contexts have focused on the role of responsibility acceptance and remorse in apologizing. Cross-cultural research on apologies has established a taxonomy that has been applied to numerous languages, revealing culture-specific preferences in apologizing, while scholars studying public apologies addressed to large audiences have pointed out their function as symbolic and persuasive acts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Language and Social Interaction
EditorsKaren Tracy
ISBN (Print)9781118611104
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2015


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