What is “Saving Face” About?

Erving Goffman’s classic research on how people do mainstream interpersonal vibiness presents an eerily clear model for stuff we do all the time but never talk about openly.

In this short essay summarizing Goffman’s essays collected in Interaction Ritual, I will examine what a face is, how people work to save and build face, and then explain the very off-kilter contrast provided by the book’s final essay on folk notions of…

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