Exploring the Role of Religion in Relation to Impoliteness and Moral Order : The Case of Social Experiment TV Shows in Libya

Elgadri, Ahmed and Culpeper, Jonathan (2024) Exploring the Role of Religion in Relation to Impoliteness and Moral Order : The Case of Social Experiment TV Shows in Libya. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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Abstract

Despite the considerable advances in (im)politeness research and the amount of attention evaluative judgments of interactants have received, the role and influence of religion especially with respect to moral order has not been thoroughly investigated. Spencer-Oatey and Kádár (2016) briefly comment on the possible relevance of religious beliefs that underpin people’s moral evaluations, and they recommend further research in that regard. This thesis seeks to examine (im)politeness in relation to the moral order in the Libyan Arabic context. The thesis aims to a) improve the understanding of the role of religion and social norms (socio-religious moral norms) in constructing and understanding (im)politeness in the Libyan context, and b) identify which moral repair tactics are employed by Libyans against perceived impoliteness, moral transgression, and socio-moral ħaram or ʕeib. To address the above aims, this study adopts Haugh and Culpeper’s (2018) integrative pragmatics approach which allows the combination of various methods to address the research question taking into account both the analyst’s and lay participants’ perspectives. This study modifies and expands on Culpeper’s (2011a) impoliteness framework supplemented by Spencer-Oatey’s (2008) rapport management. The data under investigation is extracted from “social experiment” TV shows recorded in Libya that are publicly available on YouTube. These shows also include retrospective interviews with bystanders as well as meta statements and comments in the comment sections of the YouTube channels of these shows. The idea of these TV shows is to observe and examine Libyan people’s behaviours and reactions when confronted with some ethical and social dilemmas that could possibly trigger their reactions. The data analysis is presented in four chapters: socio-pragmatic analysis of three case studies, pragmalinguistic analysis of 18 episodes, bystander’s moral repair tactics, and an analysis of the moral emotions expressed by bystanders in the retrospective interviews. The findings reveal that bystanders employed linguistic socio-religious moral repair and socio-religious moral action tactics to address and redress the moral violations produced by the offenders in the SETV shows. These strategies are significantly influenced by religious teachings and socio-religious moral norms. Examples of these strategies include reminding the offender of socio-religious moral norms, appealing to Allah for help, warning the offender of the Higher Power (Allah), reminding the offender of the instructions of the Quran and Sunnah, and ʕurf, and disassociation from group membership. The pragmalinguistic analysis reveals similarities with the impoliteness formulae introduced by Culpeper (2011a) with unpalatable questions occurring most frequently. However, these formulae are also linguistically influenced by socio-religious expressions. New categories also emerge from the data such as the personification of Satan, spitting and physical violence. The metapragmatic analysis reveals the important role of moral emotions in addressing and redressing socio-moral violations with moral shock and moral anger reported most frequently by Libyan bystanders.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
ID Code:
221772
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
28 Jun 2024 11:30
Refereed?:
No
Published?:
Unpublished
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 06:09