A Study of the Verbal Conflict between Mother and Daughter-in-law in Desperate Housewives

Wang DING, Jin’an HOU


Ting-Toomey proposed face-negotiation theory in the 1980s. For years, face-negotiation theory has been used to explain conflict in communication and cultural differences related to communication. As we know, conflict is a very natural phenomenon in the conversation of different cultures. However, people have different ways to solve the conflict. This paper studies the conflict between mother and daughter-in-law in TV series. The extracts come from the American TV series Desperate Housewives. The paper aims to answer the two research questions: (1) does the conflict style between family members like mother and daughter-in-law in American TV series Desperate Housewives is also dominating? (2) If it is, how the conversation proceeds under the dominating style? After analyzing the materials, we find that the conflict style between mother and daughter-in-law in American TV series Desperate Housewives is dominating. In addition, although the conflict style between mother and daughter-in-law in American TV series Desperate Housewives is dominating, people also emphasize on the social harmony among family members.
Key words: conflict, face-negation theory, mother and daughter-in-law
Résumé: Ting-Toomey propose la théorie de la négation de face dans les années 1980. Depuis des années, la théorie de la négociation de face a été utilisée pour expliquer les conflits dans la communication et les différences culturelles relatives à la communication. Comme nous le savons, le conflit est un phénomène naturel dans la conversation des cultures différentes. Cependant, les gens ont de différents moyens pour résoudre le conflit. Le présent article traite le conflit entre la mère et la belle-fille dans les feuilletons télévisuels. Les extraits viennent d’un feuilleton américain- Maîtresses de maison désespérées. L’article vise à répondre deux questions : (1) Est-ce que le style conflictif entre les membres familiales, comme la mère et la belle-fille dans les Maîtresses de maison désespérées, est encore dominant ? (2) Si oui, comment la conversation s’engage sous le style dominant ? Après avoir analysé les matériels, nous trouvons que le style conflictif entre le mère et la belle-fille dans les Maîtresses de maison désespérées est dominant. Mais malgré cela, on insiste aussi sur l’harmonie sociale entre les membres familiales.
Mots-Clés: conflit, théorie de la négociation de face, mère et belle-fille
摘 要:Ting-Toomey在十九世紀八十年代提出了面子磋商理論。多年來,該理論被用來解釋交際中的衝突和有關交際的文化差異。正如我們所瞭解的,不同文化間的言語對話中產生衝突是很自然的現象,然而人們總是有不同的方法去解決這些衝突。本文致力於研究電視劇中婆媳之間的言語衝突,目的是想回答兩個問題:(1)美國電視劇《絕望主婦》中像婆媳這種家庭成員間的衝突類型是屬於支配型嗎?(2)如果是的話,談話在這種衝突類型下是怎麼進行的?通過對材料的分析,我們發現美國電視劇《絕望主婦》中婆媳之間的衝突類型是支配型。另外,雖然這種衝突是支配型,他們也重視家庭成員之間的和諧相處。

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/j.ccc.1923670020080401.001


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