Face Related Issues

1196 Words5 Pages
Throughout life everyone will experience a multitude of feelings. The experiences we have during our lifetime may evoke feelings of embarrassment, shame, guilt, frustration, disappointment, or pride. These emotions are usually face-related issues. Whenever we perceive that our social position is being challenged or compromised, we instinctively attempt to save face. On the other hand, when we are complimented or celebrated, we experience a rise in our social self-worth. Whether we our losing or saving face, it is important to study face related issues because they can help us overcome problematic interpersonal situations. “Face” refers to “a claimed sense of favorable social self-worth that a person wants others to have of him or him” (Ting-Toomey…show more content…
Using a culture-specific lense allows us to account for the ways in which situated meanings of face and facework may differ based upon one culture to the next. Cultural values shape our meanings and help construct the intricacies that create our social self (“public self”) and personal self (“private self”)--both of which are inextricably linked to face. While face is fundamentally a social self construction issue, we can still use this phenomenon to better understand conflict behavior because face will always influence and determine the ways in which we handle conflict (Ting-Toomey and Kurogi). More specifically, we can better understand intercultural conflict, which often arises due to different cultural values and conflict assumptions. Our goal is to explore facework and politeness as it relates to intercultural conflict, particularly when a racial slur is used in an intercultural…show more content…
To explore this phenomenon, we must take into consideration several situational factors such as group membership, ethnic group identification, and previous experience because each of these factors impact the ways in which people attribute short-term effects of racist speech. Tajfel and Turner’s (1979) work on social identity theory has been the most influential when trying to explain issues of racism. Social identity theory claims that a person’s social identity is “an individual's knowledge of belonging to a group and the emotional meaning that results from that group membership” (Leets, 2003, p. 146). Individuals work to affirm a positive social identity by making social comparisons between their own and other groups. In other words, people will try to obtain positive distinctiveness relative to out-group members in order to protect and maintain their self esteem as group members (Leets). It is critical that we explore the role that social categories play in how people see each other because it can shed light on the processes inherent in racism. Racial and/or ethnic name calling is one mechanism groups used to maintain positive in-group image while casting a negative image on
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