Christopher Hopkinson


This paper reports on the results of a sociopragmatic study of restaurant-owners’ public responses to negative customer reviews posted on TripAdvisor. Responses to customer complaints are typically apologetic, taking a deferential stance towards the customer. This study focuses on responses which shift away from this default position and take an explicitly oppositional stance. Drawing on Goffman’s concept of footing and informed by sociopragmatic theories of facework and relational work, I explore the discursive mechanisms and linguistic resources by which restaurant-owners manipulate the footings which underlie their responses to complaints – with a particular focus on radical reframings of the participants’ status and roles (the customer may be publicly denigrated or mocked). Such practices reflect the dynamic, fluid nature of a genre that may at first sight appear to be highly conventional in nature.

Słowa kluczowe: facework, footing, relational work, stance, TripAdvisor

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