Understanding Politeness Strategies: A Study of Tourist Police Service Encounters Through Discourse Approach


  • Srowcha Rattanapian PhD candidate in English Language Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand


Thai Tourist Police, politeness, intercultural communication, discourse studies, interdiscourse communication


This paper is a study to investigate politeness strategies and the politeness system of 10 Thai tourist police officers in service encounters with foreign tourists at two Tourist Report Centers in Thailand. A study is conducted to answer two research questions: 1) What are the politeness/face strategies of Thai tourist police when they communicate with tourists at the Thai Tourist Center? 2) What is the politeness/face system utilized in the interactions between tourists and tourist police at the Thai Tourist Report Center? Discourse approach following Scollon, Scollon, and H. Jones (2012) is applied to study the encounters at both lexical and discursive levels. The study has found that the tourist police employed speech acts of directives and assertives the most frequently in the encounters. For face/politeness strategies, the participants employed a mix of bald-on-record, involvement politeness, and independence politeness strategies. Last but not least, the hierarchical face/politeness system is prevalent in the encounters as tourists are empowered by factors in the context including roles, responsibilities, physical setting, and physical appearance.


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