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Face and Face Practices in Chinese Talk-in-Interaction

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Face and Face Practices in Chinese Talk-in-Interaction addresses the knowledge-gap in this field by focusing on the importance of emic conceptualizations (face1) in theorizing face. Existing research on face has tended to rely on the etic perspective (face2) in theorizing and conceptualizing face. This book applies an interactional pragmatics approach drawing on folk notions and discourse instead of simply describing Chinese in a normative, and potentially stereotypical, manner. It builds on an analysis of original face-to-face interactional data and employs a combination of methodological approaches to analyze face in business settings.

This is the first study to examine face and face practices in Chinese employing Face Constituting Theory (FCT) as the theoretical framework. In doing so it provides empirical support for the importance of examining the cognitive and the interactional aspects of face practices, as well as providing insightful perspectives on the complex interactional moves that participants employ in managing their interpersonal relationships within business interactions and mediations. In this way, the book addresses key current debates on how face should be conceptualized and theorized. It also demystifies Chinese communication and thereby illuminates some unidentified face practices, both culture-general and cultural-specific.

Published: Jan 8, 2016


Section Chapter Authors
Acknowledgements Wei-Lin Chang
Transcription symbols and abbreviations Wei-Lin Chang
Introduction Wei-Lin Chang
Emic and etic perspectives on face Wei-Lin Chang
An interactional pragmatics approach to investigating face practices Wei-Lin Chang
Emic concepts of face Wei-Lin Chang
Emic practices of face: dyadic interactions vs multiparty interactions Wei-Lin Chang
Demystifying face in Chinese: emerging themes in business interactions Wei-Lin Chang
Conclusion Wei-Lin Chang
End Matter
References Wei-Lin Chang
Index Wei-Lin Chang


This book unveils and demystifies face practices in Chinese communication through compelling arguments based on strong empirical evidence. Its sound theoretical approach combined with its impressive body of empirical data make for an exemplary study that will be of great value to readers interested in discourse analysis and intercultural communication.
Discourse Studies