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Vasilyeva E.D. (2021). “Saving face” — means or goal of communication? Socio-psychological characteristics of face concept. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], 2 (42), 26–35. doi: 10.11621/npj.2021.0203


Background. The concept of “face” appeared in scientific discourse in the middle of the last century and has since been used by researchers in the fields of communication studies, linguistics and psychology. Such a diversified approach to the study of this phenomenon leads to a number of disagreements in the understanding of its main characteristics and functions. The relevance of this review lies in the systematic analysis of face and facework, highlighting it as an independent subject of study and formulating problems for further research.

Objective. The purpose of this article is to analyze the relationship between the concepts of “identity”, “self-presentation” and “face”, as well as to identify the main characteristics and features of the process of saving face from the socio-psychological point of view.

Methods. Systemic and subjective approaches, comparative analysis method.

Results. “Face” is defined as a universal phenomenon of the individual and relational levels that cannot be considered independently of the object and context of communication. In addition, special attention is paid to the consideration of this concept as a component of intercultural communication. New research directions are outlined.

Conclusions. For further study of “face”, one needs a more detailed understanding of the factors influencing the face concerns and facework at the individual, situational and cultural levels. In addition, the concept of “face” can be viewed as a component of intercultural communicative competence.

Received: 03/18/2021
Accepted: 05/25/2021
Pages: 26-35
DOI: 10.11621/npj.2021.0203


Keywords: identity; self-presentation; face; facework; intercultural communication; communication competence

Available Online 30.06.2020


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For citing this article:

Vasilyeva E.D. (2021). “Saving face” — means or goal of communication? Socio-psychological characteristics of face concept. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], 2 (42), 26–35. doi: 10.11621/npj.2021.0203

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