Managing interpersonal relationships: Teasing as a method of professional identity construction

Xiaoyi Bi, Elizabeth Marsden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates teasing as a linguistic resource for assisting the host of the Chinese dating reality show If You are the One, to construct professional identities. By drawing on the approach of interpersonal pragmatics, which allows for a detailed analysis of a teasing sequence in a multi-party interaction, this paper documents how different aspects of face are negotiated when the host teases one of the participants in an ongoing dyadic interaction, and how this practice is related to his construction of professional identities. By teasing one of the participants and transforming the tease effects to the other, the host's participation, done with consideration to both participants' face wants, can save both their faces, therefore being positively evaluated and perceived as supportive. It is suggested that the professional identities constructed are associated with the unique combination of the contextual and co-textual environments, and are co-constructed as a contextual expectation which becomes a norm of this community of practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-30
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Early online date2 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


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