Women, Men and Politeness focuses on the specific issue of the ways in which women and men express politeness verbally.
Using a range of evidence and a corpus of data collected largely from New Zealand, Janet Holmes examines the distribution and functions of a range of specific verbal politeness strategies in women's and men's speech and discusses the possible reasons for gender differences in this area. Data provided on interactional strategies, 'hedges and boosters', compliments and apologies, demonstrates ways in which women's politeness patterns differ from men's, with the implications of these different patterns explored, for women in particular, in the areas of education and professional careers.
1. Sex, politeness and language
2. Who speaks here? Interacting politely
3. Soft and low: hedges and boosters as politeness devices
4. What a lovely tie! Compliments and positive politeness strategies
5. Sorry! Apologies and negative politeness strategies
6. Why politeness matters