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#redirect[[Face (sociological concept)]]
'''Face''' refers to two separate but related concepts in [[Chinese social relations]]. One is '''mianzi''' (Chinese: [[wikt:面子|面子]]), and the other is '''lian''' (Traditional Chinese: 臉, Simplified Chinese: [[wikt:脸|脸]]), which are both used commonly in everyday speech rather than in formal writings.
''Lian'' is the confidence of society in a person's moral character, while ''mianzi'' represents social perceptions of a person's [[prestige (sociology)|prestige]]. For a person to maintain face is important with Chinese social relations because face translates into power and influence and affects [[Goodwill (business)|goodwill]]. A loss of ''lian'' would result in a loss of trust within a [[social network]], while a loss of ''mianzi'' would likely result in a loss of [[authority]]. To illustrate the difference, gossiping about someone stealing from a cash register would cause a loss of ''lian'' but not ''mianzi''. Repeatedly interrupting one's boss as he is trying to speak may cause the boss a loss of ''mianzi'' but not ''lian.''
When trying to avoid conflict, Chinese in general will avoid causing another person to lose ''mianzi'' by not bringing up embarrassing facts in public. Conversely, when challenging authority and another person's standing within a community, Chinese will often attempt to cause a loss of ''lian'' or ''mianzi''. A very public example of this occurred during the Tiananmen protests of 1989 when Wu'er Kaixi scolded Premier Li Peng for being late to a meeting with the demonstrators, resulting in Li's loss of ''mianzi'' because he was seen as either tardy or insincere about the meeting.
Notice that directly lying does not cause a loss of face. For example, if a flight is cancelled by an airline, then they may lie that it is merely delayed. Inability to arrange the trip would cause a loss of face, while lying that it is delayed would help to save face. {{Fact|date=February 2008}}
So-called "[[polite lie]]s" are acceptable.
Similar concepts also exist in [[Arabic culture|Arabic]], [[Korea]]n, [[Malays (ethnic group)|Malay]], [[Laos|Laotian]], [[India]]n, [[Japan]]ese, [[Vietnam]]ese and [[Thailand|Thai]] cultures. See also [[embarrassment]] in Western cultures.
== See also ==
*[[Face saving]]
*[[Goodwill (business)|Goodwill]]
*[[Shame society]]
*''[[Saving Face]]'' a film about the social concept of face
* Ho, David Yau-Fai (1976), "On the Concept of Face," ''American Journal of Sociology'', 81 (4), 867–84.[]
[[Category:Chinese psychology]]
[[Category:Social psychology]]
[[es:Rostro (concepto social)]]
[[pl:Twarz (socjologia)]]
{{enWP|Face (social concept)}}

Latest revision as of 11:11, October 8, 2012

  1. redirectFace (sociological concept)

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