Social Basis Of Face

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Face surfaces in social interactions or relationships that are responsible for emotional experiences, and it is these latter that underlie the processes of face. The social basis of face provides it with contingent or conditional qualities, which are experienced in terms of emotional feelings. While an individual’s social face can be his most personal possession and the focus of his security and pleasure, it is only on loan to him from society; it will be withdrawn unless he conducts himself in a way that is worthy of it (Goffman, 1922). Face is what a person feels about his or her image as it is seen through the eyes of the person’s social group or community. An individual sees his or her own image in this social ‘mirror’ composed by other.…show more content…
As Jia (2001) argues, emotion overlaps and intertwines with face. Viewing oneself through the eyes of others, one’s face may be enhanced, maintained, protected or reduced. In gaining face, persons experience feelings linked with, pride, honor and dignity. When a person maintains his or her face, in Goffman’s (1972) words is ‘in face’, then that person responds with feelings of confidence and assurance. When a person saves his or her own face, which unlike the maintenance of face requires not merely social acceptance of a given state but the purposeful activity of the person directed to his or her presentation to others, that person is likely to feel a sense of relief and security. When a person loses face, or as Goffman (1972) states, is in wrong face or out of face then he is likely to feel inferior and ashamed because of what has occurred to the activity on his account and because of what may happen to his reputation. Depending on the urgency of the matter and a person’s psychological bearing and perception, the feelings that they will experience may range from embarrassment to shame, from incompetence to inferiority. There is confirmation of this perspective in the findings which Redding and Ng (1982), report that strong feelings of satisfaction, pride and confidence shadowed by gaining face while strong feelings of shame…show more content…
In social terms, emotions surface out of the interactions between individuals and, in that sense, are social products. Subjectively, emotions give direction to and energize actions. The importance of emotions to face is not simply modifications in face states that create emotional responses but the fact that the specific emotions produced by different face states are the mechanisms that lead to the stabilization of, or to changes in, those face states. For instance, the feeling of shame linked with the loss of face, delivers its subject with a painful signal of the social disapproval of his or her wrongdoing and provokes a withdrawal from the society. The shamed isolation of one is itself a consequence that brings with it different painful deprivations which influence remorseful shame that signals to others the subject’s recognition of his or her transgression and also the person’s distress about their previous behavior and a desire to make changes. This is the activation of recovering face and is assisted by the emotional components of face. As a subjective experience, emotions are guided not only to internal feelings but also to particular ways of interaction and relation with others. This is linked with a further feature of face, the way
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