IDENTITY AND SELF-PRESENTATION IN LETTERS OF REQUEST WRITTEN BY COLLEGE STUDENTS

Maria Corazon Saturnina Aspeli Castro

Abstract


Participants in an interaction risk their sense of face in every action (Goffman, 1967).  Requests, by definition, are face-threatening acts (Brown and Levinson, 1978).  In making a request, a speaker not only threatens the hearer’s negative face as he impinges on the hearer’s claim to freedom of action; he also threatens his positive face as he exposes himself to the possibility of being denied or rejected.  In order to minimize this possibility, the speaker has to present himself in such a way that the hearer would have a positive impression of him. This paper examined letters of request written by students of a university in Metro Manila for noticeable forms of self-presentation.  Following Goffman’s thesis (1956) that self-presentation is a tangible component of identity, this paper analyzed lexico-syntactic patterns, and impression management strategies utilized by the writers to express their communicative intention (make a request), and construct an identity deemed necessary in attaining the hearer’s approval.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24071/ijhs.2018.020102


Keywords


face, request, self-presentation, impression management, identity

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p-ISSN: 2597-470X (since 31 August 2017); e-ISSN: 2597-4718 (since 31 August 2017)

IJHS Journal Vol 1 No 2 publication date: 8 March 2018

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International Journal of Humanity Studies (IJHS) is a scientific journal in English published twice a year, namely in September and March, by Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.