Volume 31, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238



This paper analyses postings made by student applicants on Korean online communities about how best to handle interactions with potential future PhD supervisors at UK universities. The questions they posed reveal the lack of relevant contextual information they experienced, especially around the rights and obligations of supervisors. This paper thus analyses students’ metapragmatic comments and argues for greater attention to be paid within interpersonal and intercultural pragmatics to interactional goals and conceptions of role relations, especially the rights and obligations associated with them. The analysis has revealed that background information on role relations is of great importance for relational management and communication planning in high stakes intercultural interaction. This suggests that potential cultural variation in the perceived rights and obligations associated with a given role (in this case, PhD supervisor) and their implications for assessments of role relations are of central concern.


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