Politeness Strategies in Imagined Conversation Openers About Eldercare

  • Pitts M
  • Fowler C
  • Fisher C
 et al. 
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In the United States, many adult children and their aging parents reach the point when it is necessary to address future care needs of the parent. Given that the prevailing culture values independence over interdependence, discussing future care needs can be face threatening. Therefore, an examination of how adult children approach such conversations and manage face needs is an important first step toward understanding what makes these conversations effective and supportive. We use politeness theory to illuminate ways in which adult children incorporate facework in imagined messages (“openers”) to initiate a conversation with their aging parent about eldercare. Openers were thematically coded for politeness strategies and messages. Imagined openers featured complex “strings” of positive and negative politeness strategies. Implications are addressed. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of Journal of Language & Social Psychology is the property of Sage Publications Inc. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

Author-supplied keywords

  • aging
  • decision making
  • eldercare
  • facework
  • family
  • health
  • intergenerational communication
  • parent-child communication
  • politeness theory

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  • Margaret J. Pitts

  • Craig Fowler

  • Carla L. Fisher

  • Stephanie A. Smith

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