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Book: Face and Face Practices in Chinese Talk-in-Interaction

Chapter: Emic and etic perspectives on face

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.29844


Chapter 2 discusses previous research on face and the research on face to date, which highlights the importance of an interactional perspective on face. A number of studies that have explored face in the context of Chinese society are then discussed, focusing in particular on issues that have arisen from neglecting the interactional aspect of face. Based on this review it is argued that face should be constructed as interactional, relational and emotively invested, and as such is systematically addressed in current studies of face in Chinese. My goal in Chapter 2 is to demonstrate the significance of the inclusion of interactional and relational perspectives as well as the emotivities in investigating face in Chinese. The dynamics of these three perspectives play a key role in social practices in Chinese culture.

Chapter Contributors

  • Wei-Lin Chang ( - changm) 'University of Wollongong'