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Research article: The Polite Abuser: Using Politeness Theory To Examine Emotional Abuse

Over the last few decades more and more cultural attention has been paid to intimate partner violence, especially emotional abuse. Follingstad, Rutledge, Berg, Hause, and Polek (1990) established that emotional abuse fell into six distinct categories; however, little attention had been paid to how abusers can utilize polite communication to hurt their partner. Equally, Brown and Levinson’s politeness theory (1987) had never been applied to problematic communication until Austin’s (1990) face attack acts model. This study aimed to understand how polite communication can be used as a form of emotional abuse.

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By Cimmiaron Alvarez
March 2020

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