"Are you my friend?": Negotiating friendship in conversations between network marketers and their prospects

Kenneth C C KONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Friendship is studied as a culturally and contextually embedded entity. Focusing on the interactions between network marketers and their prospects, this article proposes four key central elements through which participants make sense of themselves when their identities are in transgression and conflict. Instead of being essentialist, the four elements of friendship - intimacy, control, trust, and positiveness - are highly interactional and dynamic elements that can be negotiated by participants in a conversation. It is argued that Grice's Cooperative Principle is valid, but this should be enhanced by participants' specific culture and prior experience. The notion of "face"in politeness models should be expanded in light of its dynamic characteristics in interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-522
Number of pages36
JournalLanguage in Society
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2003

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language

User-Defined Keywords

  • Culture
  • Discourse analysis
  • Friendship
  • Identity
  • Network marketing
  • Politeness

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