“C’mon, I was just teasing” : a look into functions of teasing amongst young Singaporeans
Ho, Priscilla Xin Ni.
Date of Issue2012
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Teasing is a ubiquitous form of interaction amongst friends and family. Teasing can be complex and can be used as a form of playful provocation serving the functions of challenging the target, annoying or encouraging the target to take up the invitation to engage in humorous exchange. In all, teasing can serve several functions.To my knowledge, there has yet to be a study focusing specifically on the functions of teasing amongst young Singaporeans. Singapore’s unique background presents an interesting case to look into. This study aims to look at the various functions of teasing used by Singaporeans. The ten participants involved in this study are all Chinese Singaporeans. Given that teasing occurs more commonly between friends and intimates, these participants are natural groups of friends. Participants’ conversations are recorded and subsequently transcribed. Instances of teasing are then picked out for analysis. The functions as identified in my study are: Teasing for fun and bonding, teasing for mitigating conflicts and tension, protection of face (others), protection of face (self), teasing for controlling and corrective purposes and teasing as a form of criticisms and disagreements. Amongst the functions mentioned, teasing for fun and bonding is the most commonly used function amongst participants. Teasing to protect the face of others is the least frequent function used by participants in my study. The findings of the functions and frequency with relation to Singapore are conflicting. Perhaps, when it comes to Singaporeans, culture has less of an influence affecting our functions of teasing.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University