An Exploratory Study of Genuine Criticism Realization and Mitigation Strategies a Case of Movie Interactants

Document Type : Research Paper


Razi University


Genuine Criticism (GC) is an evaluative expression of annoyance with an attribute in the interlocutor, whose realization may threaten the positive image of both interlocutors. The current study investigates facework and politeness in performing GCsin different contexts and for interlocutors with low social distance and high status in terms of GC realization strategies and mitigation devices that the speakers employ to soften their criticisms. Data were collected from 70 situations from movies in which GCs arise between interactants. The interactants deal with topics that happen in their daily life.  The data were transcribed, categorized and analyzed based on the adapted version of criticizing categorization developed by Nguyen (2005, 2013).The results indicate that interactants with low social distance between them and the speakers who possess higher status employ direct strategies more than indirect strategies when they carry out criticism. Besides, the speakers with higher social distance utilize direct criticizing strategies more often.  With regard to mitigation strategies, both groups tend to mitigate their criticisms less often. Exploring the strategies that English NSs employ can help EFL material developers realize and depict a better picture of the strategies in learning materials so that potential learning problems are prevented.