Politeness (Keqi): The Fragrance of Chinese Communication (Report) - China Media Research

Politeness (Keqi): The Fragrance of Chinese Communication (Report)

By China Media Research

  • Release Date - Published: 2011-10-01
  • Book Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Author: China Media Research
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Politeness (Keqi): The Fragrance of Chinese Communication (Report) China Media Research read online review & book description:

The study of Chinese culture and communication styles is a flourishing area given that China has been a growing political and economic power in the 21st century. The long history of Chinese culture and its profound influence on Chinese people's communication behavior are worthy of extensive research for the purpose of effective and productive intercultural communication. In this paper, I focus on one aspect of Chinese communication--keqi, to reveal a part of the complexities involved in Chinese communication. Keqi is a basic politeness principle that Chinese observe in their everyday speaking practices. There are two basic levels of meanings in the contemporary notion of keqi. First, keqi delineates that communication between an individual self and others should be construed in a thoughtful, mannerly, pleasant, and civil fashion (Gao&Ting-Toomey, 1998). This level of meaning is similar to and often interchangeable with the concept of politeness in literature. However, it is not enough to understand the concept of keqi without mentioning its negative connotation. Keqi under certain contexts has the connotation of being insincere: a person's words are not from the bottom of his or her heart but only showing superficial politeness. This paper primarily focuses on the positive connotation of keqi (i.e., politeness) by discussing why Chinese engage in keqi in their daily communication, under what contexts keqi is operated, and how keqi is performed. The negative meaning of keqi is also discussed in order to have a comprehensive understanding of keqi.

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