Unit 4.1

In the personal and public sphere: Relations between social classes, generations and sexes

Rules of Courtesy concerning Older People

  • Elders are always treated with high respect.
  • If you spot an elderly people in public transport, you should give up your seat to them.
  • You should hold a door for them.
  • You should refer to them as Sir or Ma’am.
  • You should let them in front of you in the queue.
  • Sometimes interrupting a conversation can be seen as rude, but if there is a need for it, it should be done politely.
  • Slang should not be used when speaking with elders.

Social Conventions Regarding the Behaviour Between Persons of the Same-Sex and the Opposite Sex

  • When meeting someone new, there is a hierarchy. Men should be introduced to women, juniors to elderly people and higher ranks.
  • A handshake is a common form of greeting in the UK. It should be accompanied by direct but not too long eye contact. It is normal to shake hands with both women and men.
  • Kissing is also common but sometimes it is not appropriate in professional situations. It should only be done among friends. It is not appropriate when meeting someone for the first time.
  • Last names and titles should be used until you are allowed to use first names.
  • Asking a lot of personal questions is seen as very impolite.
  • Men usually should open and hold doors for women, propose them a seat in public transport or ask if they need any help if they are moving heavy objects, but this convention is changing in current times.
More exercises