Impoliteness, aggression and the moral order

Vahid Parvaresh, Tahmineh Tayebi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While studies devoted to impoliteness have been increasing in number, only scant attention has been paid to how impoliteness can be viewed as a reaction against attributes or social actions that are deemed undesirable. The current study is concerned with the relationship between ‘impoliteness’ and the notion of ‘moral order’. More specifically, we examine the aggressive comments directed towards the official Facebook page of an Iranian actress, living in exile, after posting a nude photograph of herself. We consider the impolite language used in the comments under investigation to have been occasioned by an implicature, and subsequently argue that such an aggressive language originates from a set of similar assumptions and expectations which seem to be part of the moral order. As the study reveals, considerations of impoliteness are heavily dependent upon the development of communities whose members apparently share, and demand, common beliefs and similar social values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-107
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Early online date6 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Aggression
  • Facebook
  • Impoliteness
  • Moral order
  • Persian
  • Social action


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