By Francesca Bargiela-Chiappini, Catherine Nickerson, Brigitte Planken (auth.)

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The principles are typically value-linked, so that in a given culture and/or situational context, there are norms or preferences regarding the implementation of the principles, and any failure to implement the principles as expected may result in mild to strong evaluative judgements’ (Spencer-Oatey & Jiang, 2003: 1635). The authors’ comparative study of SIPs in China and England shows similarities across cultures in the type of SIPs that people use but also that there is variation at a more detailed level; for example, situational factors may explain variation across cultures in the overall importance that people attach to a given SIP in a given interaction or a given encounter (1644).

The literature is full of ‘critical’ studies in a variety of disciplines with an equally varied set of ideas and motivations. It is perhaps possible, however, to generalize that researchers in the critical tradition embrace a reflexive and self-reflexive stance on the subject of the study, the way they study it and in their role as researchers. org/) provides the following definition of ‘critical’: Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analysing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.

SIPs: Spencer-Oatey and Jiang (Spencer-Oatey & Jiang, 2003) have suggested that politeness maxims in crosscultural pragmatics can be replaced by a new notion, that of sociopragmatic interactional principles (SIPs). SIPs are ‘socioculturallybased principles, scalar in nature, that guide or influence people’s productive and interpretive use of language. The principles are typically value-linked, so that in a given culture and/or situational context, there are norms or preferences regarding the implementation of the principles, and any failure to implement the principles as expected may result in mild to strong evaluative judgements’ (Spencer-Oatey & Jiang, 2003: 1635).

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