Impoliteness Strategies in ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’: A Gender-based Study


This study aims at finding out gender differences in impoliteness strategies made by African American characters in the TV series ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ to enact humor. The researchers analyzed 151 impolite utterances from Season 1 from ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’, which consisted of 25 episodes. The findings support previous research that males use impoliteness more than females. It was also found out that male characters utilized impoliteness strategies more than female characters in both evoking impoliteness and responding to face attacks. Regardless of gender, attacking the hearer’s negative face was more preferred by African American characters than attacking the hearer’s positive face. Males and females differed significantly in initiating negative impoliteness and sarcasm or mock impoliteness. However, the differences between the two genders in responding to impoliteness were insignificant.


Noor F. Al-Yasin, Ghaleb A. Rabab'ah



face attacks, gender, humor, impoliteness, politeness