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Drawing data from the recordings of natural conversations and meta-pragmatic comments, and combining the neo-Brown and Levinson approach and the relational work framework, this paper explored how Saudi female friends manage friendly informal settings and hospitality despite culture-specific politeness expectations. The analysis focused on just one of the discursive strategies in which the direction of displaying hospitality is turned around, i.e. displayed by the guests rather than the host(ess). This strategy constituted a noticeable behaviour among the 13 close friends observed in this study. Cooperative conjoint hospitality was particularly useful for maintaining and enhancing rapport, in-group membership, and solidarity among the friends and minimising hospitality obligations of the hostess. The analysis demonstrated how such behaviour was consistent with the politeness norms negotiated in the close friends’ community of practice (CofP) but differed from the politeness norms in the wider culture.


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