Conversational dominance and politeness strategy on a political discussion among peers

  • Vina Yuliana
Keywords: conversational dominance, politeness strategy, language and gender


This paper aims to explore the differences of female and male linguistic features analyzed using the conversational dominance analysis and the common politeness strategies when discussing Kabinet Indonesia Maju (Onward Indonesia Cabinet). The participants were a group of Master Degree students consisting of two male and two female students. The data was gathered by conducting a focus group discussion, then the verbal utterance was orthographically transcribed. The writer used quantitative and qualitative methods to analyse the data. The finding showed that other-oriented interruption was the most-occurred dominance, in which both male and female participants interrupted the conversation to exhibit the agreement, support the speakers, and reinforce the flow of the conversation. The female participants did self-oriented interruption more than male participants to ask questions. This finding conversed Lakoff (1973), Coates (1991), and West and Zimmerman (1987)’s female language features in which the female participants stood for their own opinion, shared their critic, gave suggestions, and asked questions. This study found that the participants showed mostly positive politeness strategy which they agreed to each other's statement, supported one another's idea, and contributed new topics to the discussion to maintain the discussion. This paper concluded that gender is not the only factor determining linguistics features and politeness strategy in this discussion among peers. The other possible influencing factors were the participants’ relationship closeness, different cultural backgrounds, topic mastery, and their equal education level.


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