Call for Papers: Im/politeness and globalisation (Journal of Pragmatics, Special Issue); Journal of Language Aggression & Conflict

Call for abstracts for a special issue:  Im/politeness and globalisation


Maria Sifianou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens,

Pilar G. Blitvich, University of North Carolina at Charlotte,

Research on im/politeness has witnessed an immense expansion over the last decades (e.g. Lakoff 1973; Brown & Levinson 1978/1987; Leech 1983; Eelen 2001; Watts 2003; Mills 2003; Culpeper & Kádár 2010; Kádár & Haugh 2013; Leech 2014), although issues of im/politeness have been of concern to people for centuries. On the other hand, globalisation is a term that has gained increasing momentum relatively recently. The concept is complex and multi-faceted but broadly speaking it is assumed that it will lead to homogenisation of every aspect of people’s lives (e.g. Held et al. 2003; Coupland 2003, 2010; Fairclough 2006). Discourse practices fall at the heart of globalisation not least because it entails mobility and increasing numbers of various kinds of interactions both traditional and novel, especially given the development of technologically mediated communication.

In this context, language itself is seen a commodity (Heller 2003) which sells well if it is wrapped up with politeness (a hallmark of this being the service sector). A powerful kind of politeness, which despite its sounding alien to many, is spreading, thus appears to be leading to the homogenisation of discourse practices (e.g. Cameron 2000, 2003). Yet this view is in sharp contrast with a basic tenet of much of the recent research on im/politeness, namely that even within one culture there is considerable variation as to what is perceived as polite or impolite (e.g. Kádár & Mills 2011; Culpeper 2011, 2012). However, since globalisation is a process which implies change, this change actually entails both homogenisation and diversification “but in relation to each other. Globalization often produces hybridity and multiplicity” (Coupland 2010: 5). Interestingly, globalisation has also been associated with an increase in impoliteness and aggression, especially in the media (e.g. Tannen 1993; Garcés-Conejos Blitvich 2009) rather than seeing a growth in politeness.

The aim of this special issue is to encourage research on the many interconnections between im/politeness and globalisation, in areas such as the following:

  • academic settings
  • intercultural encounters
  • language change
  • language teaching / learning
  • media discourse
  • political discourse
  • second language acquisition
  • second / foreign language teaching / learning
  • service encounters
  • the workplace
  • translation
  • travel and tourism

Interested colleagues are invited to submit an abstract of about 350 words to both guest-editors’ e-mail addresses above.

The abstracts should include:

  • Title
  • Author’s name, current affiliation and e-mail address
  • Research question(s), methodology, findings of the research
  • Up to five key words
  • References
  • The deadline for abstract submission has been extended. Please contact the editors.


Contributions are invited for a special issue of the Journal of Language Aggression and Conflict that focuses on public debates about migration. 

Today’s world-wide rise in migration flows has not only resulted in an unprecedented international flurry of debates and negotiations on how to deal with it in terms of economic, social, and military policies but also in a huge increase in racist and xenophobic language use, hate speech and discriminatory discourse as well as in a heightened critical awareness, as could be seen, for instance in the UN Human Rights High Commissioner’s criticism of inflammatory media language in 2015. Immigration-focused discourses and the meta-communicative debates about them are the topics of the planned special issue.

We invite abstract proposals for discourse-analytical articles of up to 300 words to be submitted to the guest editor by 31 January 2016, with view to a publication in 2017, after double-blind peer review. The abstracts should indicate theoretical framework, methods, data and main conclusions. Details of JLAC guidelines can be found at

Professor Andreas Musolff  ( email:

School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies; University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK.



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