Face-saving is not a unique Chinese cultural phenomenon. The purpose of this article is to discuss what face really is from a cross-cultural perspective. The author uses Berger and Luckmann’s theory of socialization as the background and introduces what face means and what contributes to face in China. Then the author discusses the concept of face in several Western terms: impression management; politeness; collectivism; and identity. Finally, the author draws a face model at an institutional level and concludes that it is necessary to integrate cultural perspectives on face, social behavior, and identity formation.
Song, JiYing, "What is Face Anyway?" (2018). Faculty Publications - Department of Professional Studies. 16.