Translated by: Thaer Deeb
Erving Goffman defined the term “face” to express an image of the self in front of others and interaction with them. In this canonical article, Goffman explains how interactive relationships between individuals can be understood as ritual connections built on rules and values derived from society, mirroring the way a person wants to be perceived in their surrounding space, from which the rules of self-respect and consideration for others is drawn. People rely on these rules to dictate their behaviour during interactions in a manner that saves both their own face and the faces of their counterparts. Goffman makes clear that “this kind of mutual acceptance seems to be a basic structural feature of interaction, especially the inter-action of face-to-face talk.” This is usually what Goffman refers to as a “working acceptance”, not a “real one”, as it usually comes from a “willingness to give temporary lip service to judgements with which the that participants do not really agree”.