Volume 32, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238



This paper embarks on a functional analysis of impolite language use in discussions about the response to the pandemic of Covid-19 on the official Facebook page of the Swedish national public television broadcaster in the spring of 2020. Having combined the existing models of impoliteness (Culpeper 2016) with the Appraisal theory (Martin and White 2005) in a both quantitative and qualitative investigation, the study finds remarkable differences between supporters and opponents of the Swedish tactic in terms of enactment of value orientations categorized as different attitudes within the Appraisal framework. More specifically, opponents tend to voice more subjective and affectual sentiments, whereas supporters generally derive their attitude from the Swedish institutional norms and cultural standards, resulting in more judgement. As the study concludes, these findings are related to the inherent dichotomy of the Swedish welfare state paradigm, which integrates the concepts of both state and individual citizen liability.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Appraisal theory; attitude; Covid-19; functional analysis; impoliteness; social conflict
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