The argumentative and variable nature of (im)politeness evaluations and perceptions has long been discussed by scholars working in the field. The variability found in the perception of (im)politeness norms is arguably one of the most important and fundamental components of (im)politeness research. By using a three-stage analysis and drawing on several authentic examples from Persian, the present study uses the notion of ‘heterogeneous distribution of cultural conceptualizations’ to account for instances where differences arise in the conceptualization of (im)politeness in Persian interactions. It will be argued that evaluations of (im)polite behavior vary according to people’s level of internalization of the cultural conceptualizations. Furthermore, this study will also address some of the most significant social and cultural factors that cause variability in people’s evaluations of what is impolite and why it is so.
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- Cultural conceptualizations