An Analysis of American – Chinese Movie ‘Saving Face” by Using Face Negotiation Theory

1914 words 8 pages
An analysis of American – Chinese movie ‘Saving face” by using Face Negotiation Theory

Table of contents Face Negotiation Theory 2 An application of face-negotiation theory in the movie “Saving face” (2004) 3 Advantages and disadvantages of face theory 6 Conclusion 7 References 8

The term “face-negotiation theory” was first introduced by Stella Ting-Toomey, a Professor of Human Communication Studies at California State University, in 1988 based on amazing works of Goffman in 1955 and Levinson and Brown in 1987 (Oetzel & Ting-Toomey 2003). According to Griffin (2005), the main idea of this theory is to clarify people coming from dissimilar cultures will have different ways in managing conflicts as well as communication.
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In addition, Chinese always refer to choose face-saving in facework and in this case, Gao’s father asked her find a husband to match her child, thus his face as well as Gao’s face will not be damaged.
According to Ting-Toomey (1991), in Chinese society, seeking for judgments from important people or third-party help is very common. After finding the truth is that her daughter – Wil – is a lesbian a couple years ago, Gao were not allowed Wil to mention about this topic and Wil also listened to her mother in setting dates with different men. Her mother’s decisions is powerful and although Wil was raised in individualistic society but she still be affected by collectivism so she decided to hide her relationship with Vivian. Another situation is that, Gao followed her father’s judgment which is marrying Cho in order to protect her father’s face.
However, in other scenes, Wil decided to use strengths of her low-context and individualistic culture in communicating with her grandfather. She asked Vivian “I am asking you to dance with me?” in front of many Chinese collectivists and hierarchical people. In fact, homosexual relationships are quite popular in American but two American-Chinese girls dancing and kissing in a Chinese party is very rare or it seems to never happen before. Commonly, Chinese people refer the avoiding style if they in this situation. Although Wil’s grandfather is still not totally accepted


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