“Gender and social power dynamics in compliment responses: A cross-cultural pragmatic study of university students in Indonesia and Pakistan”

Fariha Bibi, Ni Wayan Sartini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This cross-cultural study examines the dynamics of compliment response strategies among university students in Indonesia and Pakistan, focusing on the influence of gender and power dynamics. The study utilizes a mixed-methods approach, through qualitative analysis, we identified prevalent themes and patterns in students’ responses by categorizing them according to Yu’s classification. Subsequently, we quantified these qualitative categories using frequencies and percentages, offering a comprehensive understanding of the distribution of various compliment response strategies. The study comprises 100 undergraduate students evenly split between Indonesia and Pakistan, with equal gender representation (25 males, 25 females) in each country, aged 18–24. Data collection employed a Google Forms questionnaire as a Discourse Completion Task. The questionnaire encompassed demographic details and responses to compliment scenarios. Upon data collection, responses were categorized into six strategies based on Yu’s (Yu, 2004) taxonomy. Noteworthy variations emerge in compliment response strategies between Indonesian and Pakistani students, as well as across gender lines. Indonesian participants, reflecting cultural values of modesty and social harmony, display a preference for acceptance and amendment strategies. In contrast, Pakistani students, particularly males, show a higher propensity for no acceptance and no acknowledgment strategies, alongside acceptance and amendment strategies. These findings underscore the intricate dynamics of compliment responses, spotlighting the interplay of gender, power dynamics, and cultural influences. The study paves the way for future exploration of intercultural communication and fosters cross-cultural connections. This is particularly relevant for Pakistan, where limited research on compliment responses exists.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2262076
JournalCogent Arts and Humanities
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • DCT
  • compliment responses
  • cross-cultural pragmatics
  • gender
  • intercultural communication
  • power dynamics


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