Saturday, 18 June 2016

Three Minor Clarifications

Martin (1992: 526):
The basic opposition as far as status is concerned is between equal and unequal depending on whether the social ranking of participants is comparable or not.  Contact can be broken down into involved and uninvolved depending on a number of factors influencing the familiarity of participants with each other.  Contact is logically independent of status, since seeing someone often does not in itself change one's ranking (senior administrators and their secretaries for example do not change rank because they see each other every day; they do however become more "involved" with each other).

Blogger Comments:

[1] To be clear, the assignment of equal vs unequal status is a comparison of the ranking of the interactants.  If the ranking of the interactants cannot be compared, then the features equal vs unequal status cannot be assigned.

[2] Contact and familiarity are distinct variables.  It is possible to have involved contact between unfamiliar interactants, and uninvolved contact between familiar interactants.

[3] The notion of "changing rank" is irrelevant here.  The tenor system of status is an interpersonal dimension of cultural potential.  A particular instance of the tenor system is an interpersonal dimension of a particular situation in which a text unfolds.