Volume 14, Issue 5
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
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This article seeks to explore the mechanisms of holding others accountable for a perceived deviation from moral order through public complaints on Chinese social media as well as the influences of emotional stance and social positioning when people perceive a breach of the moral order and try to restore it. Our data consists of a transcribed complaint narrative (CN) widely deemed morally transgressive, and a corpus of web-based news comments (WNC), displaying public counter-offensive actions to the CN. A contextualized discourse analysis reveals that abundant context-spanning impoliteness formulae in WNC are strategies for constructing collective identities and magnifying the condemnation of immorality. In the process of moral order appeal, using various emotive impoliteness formulae appear to be a situated norm.


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