The author analyses the character of Bree Van de Kamp, one of the protagonists of the American TV series Desperate Housewives, and some of the conversations in the pilot show in which she participates. In particular, the author examines her conversational style, interactional behaviour and politeness and cooperation strategies towards her family and neighbours through the theoretical frameworks of Leech’s Politeness principle and Grice’s Cooperative principle. Linguistic investigation reveals her unbalanced personality. The conversational means she uses not only produce a perlocutionary effect of distance from the other, but also lay bare her traditional ideology and the mainstream female role model she struggles to incarnate: on the one hand she communicates her obsessive compulsion to behave in this way, and on the other hand her psychosis and her loss of contact with reality, two mental states attributable to the impossibility of fully personifying an allegedly perfect female role model.

Polite Interaction or Cooperative Interaction? Bree’s Conversational Style in ABC’s Desperate Housewives

VIRDIS, DANIELA FRANCESCA
2009

Abstract

The author analyses the character of Bree Van de Kamp, one of the protagonists of the American TV series Desperate Housewives, and some of the conversations in the pilot show in which she participates. In particular, the author examines her conversational style, interactional behaviour and politeness and cooperation strategies towards her family and neighbours through the theoretical frameworks of Leech’s Politeness principle and Grice’s Cooperative principle. Linguistic investigation reveals her unbalanced personality. The conversational means she uses not only produce a perlocutionary effect of distance from the other, but also lay bare her traditional ideology and the mainstream female role model she struggles to incarnate: on the one hand she communicates her obsessive compulsion to behave in this way, and on the other hand her psychosis and her loss of contact with reality, two mental states attributable to the impossibility of fully personifying an allegedly perfect female role model.
Pragmatics; gender and sexuality; television
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/23759
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