Jocular mockery, (dis)affiliation and face
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Teasing has often been linked with studies of face, with many analysts claiming that it can be interpreted as face-threatening and/or face-supportive depending on the context. Since teasing encompasses such a diverse and heterogeneous range of actions in interaction, however, the analysis of teasing in this paper is restricted to a particular type of teasing, namely, jocular mockery. After exploring how jocular mockery is interactionally achieved as an action, the ways in which participants align or disalign their responses to previous actions through jocular mockery, thereby indexing affiliative or disaffiliative stances with other participants is discussed. Building on this initial analysis, it is proposed that an approach to pragmatics informed by the results and methods of conversation analysis can usefully ground an exploration of the ways in which jocular mockery influences the participants' interpretings of their evolving relationships, here glossed as face consistent with its conceptualisation in (Arundale, 1999), (Arundale, 2006) and (Arundale, 2010) Face Constituting Theory. It is argued that an approach to jocular mockery which explicates its impact on the evolving relationship between the interactants gives a richer account than that concerned only with the personal identity, public image or the wants of individuals, as face has traditionally been understood.
Journal of Pragmatics
© 2010 Elsevier B.V.. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Discourse and Pragmatics