Promoting a balance of harmony and authority in Indonesian research seminars through politeness strategies
Murni Mahmud – Amirullah Abduh – Mansur Akil
The paper investigates the strategies in expressing politeness in the research seminars. The main focus is to explore the different strategies applied by the speakers in the research seminars. The study is based on the descriptive-qualitative method conducted at one state university in Makassar in 2018. The subject of this research is the speakers of research seminars of the graduate program in the chosen university, which involved the supervisors, examiners, presenters, and audiences. The data were collected by recording the process of discussion in the research seminars and transcribed. Eight sessions of research seminars which lasted for approximately one and a half hour each were obtained and resulted in eight long transcriptions. Findings show that the speakers in the research seminars applied several strategies in expressing politeness such as being attentive, using identity markers, using native speech, reaching agreements, talking humorously, being indirect, asking for clarity, and expressing regrets. Those strategies were intended to promote a balance of harmony and authority among the speakers. Although the exercise of authority among the speakers in the research seminars is potential due to the presence of supervisors and examiners, who have the highest status among other speakers, the need to maintain a good flow of interaction was prioritized which lead to several efforts of creating harmony. These findings show that politeness, as a way to balance harmony and authority is one of the crucial aspects of communication in the research seminars. The context of a research seminar in this Indonesian context provides a fruitful reference for practicing politeness concepts and strategies. Findings from this study also show that the research seminar is an area of communication in an educational setting which needs politeness strategies.
Key words: polite, politeness, politeness strategies, research seminars
Pages: 80 - 98