A Slap in the Face: Teaching Considerations in Face-Saving ...
A SLAP IN THE FACE: TEACHING CONSIDERATIONS IN FACESAVING CONTEXTS Sarah Adams TODAYS AGENDA AND GOALS AGENDA GOALS 1. Infographics
Discussion To raise participants awareness about communication and conflict in face-oriented contexts 2. Background of Face Negotiation Theory To increase participants knowledge about dimensions of Face Negotiation Theory
3. Critical Incident Encounters To practice mindful thinking through critical incident exercises 4. Activities To generate ideas about how to consider these dimensions in the classroom
5. Brainstorm PREDICTION Write down one question you have after viewing Yang Lius EastWest infographics that you would like to know the answer to after todays presentation. SARAHS FACE-SAVE: A DISCLAIMER What is the difference between a
generalization and a stereotype? Stereotypes are dangerous But generalizations based on careful observation can be useful to show patterns PART 2: BACKGROUND OF FACE NEGOTIATION
WHAT IS FACE? Saving Face what does it mean? Try to use it in a sentence/context. FACE THE FACTS: BASICS OF Face is a metaphor for our public image, tied to the emotional significance of our self worth Face is the claimed sense of favorable social self-worth and/or projected other-worth in a public situation
(Ting-Toomey and Kurogi, 1998) Associated with respect, honor, status, reputation, credibility, competence, family/network connection, loyalty, trust. Face is present in all cultures because it is an extension of self-concept CONFUCIANISM Confucianism considers proper human relationships as basis of society. Social relationships are achieved through group
harmony, avoiding face loss and modest presentation Principles from which right arises: 1. Humanism (reciprocity, to be like-hearted and empathetic with others) 2. Faithfulness (loyalty, justice, betterment of the common good) 3. Propriety/modesty (deference to others, reservation of the self. Only when people overcome themselves and return to propriety can they reach humanness)
GET OUT OF MY FACE: FACE AS CONFLICT If our identity is called into question (literally or metaphorically), this leads to conflict and our face is threatened. When face is threatened, the person feels stressed, humiliated, shamed, aggravated or embarrassed. [Face] is therefore a precious identity resource in communication because it can be threatened, enhanced, undermined, and bargained over on both emotional and cognitive levels (Ting-Toomey 218, T&P)
FALL ON YOUR FACE: NEGOTIATIONS AND STRATEGIES Dominating wanting to present a credible image and win the conflict via competitive strategies Avoiding wanting relational harmony by not dealing with the conflict up front Obliging high concern for others conflict interest beyond own interest Integrating need for solution closure with high concern for self and other Third-party help using an outsider to help mediate conflict
Self-face/independent self-construal correlates to dominating or competing conflict tactics. Other-face/interdependent self-construal correlates to avoiding and integrating conflict styles. DIRECTNESS OF EXPRESSION Low-Context: communication is more direct because less is assumed about the context, clear and explicit explanations.
High-Context: communication is less direct because participants draw on contextual and relational knowledge (i.e. when we say one word, we understand ten) Anticipatory communication: others guess what the need is to save this person the embarrassment of having to directly state. in such cases, the burden of communication falls not on the message sender but on the message receiver. (Ock Yum, 385) Classroom Example:
POWER DISTANCE Large power distance: people tend to accept unequal power distribution based on rank, role, status, age or gender identity. Small power distance: people tend to expect power to be more evenly distributed across organizations (Ting-Toomey 220). Classroom example: Students may be more willing to follow rules, deadlines Students may prefer teacher-correction and could feel stressed by ambiguous leadership or
SILENCE AND PARTICIPATION To talk little is natural-- Laozi Western view: silence could indicate sorrow, critique, obligation, regret, embarrassment. Asian view: silence could indicate respect, wisdom, concern for group harmony and can be positively meaningful. Related to face-saving strategies. Ishii and Klopf (1976) performed a cross-cultural survey on time devoted to conversation:
US participants: 6 hours, 43 minutes Japanese participants: 3 hours, 31 minutes GUANXI AND OTHERSORIENTATION In Asian contexts, the sense of self tends toward collective, connection to groups Social security found in tight, reliable network of connections (guanxi: ) More conscious of actions Actions must be appropriate for groups Even positive behavior can because others to lose face if the behavior is dominating
Examples: Students may prefer not to ask questions because the sense of time/space is public, not individual Even students who have the knowledge/ability to answer a question may be unwilling to speak during class since it would draw attention to self Students may have close-knit groups and feel a sense of loyalty to members SELF-CONSTRUAL: CULTURAL SELF-IMAGE Ting-Toomey says self construal is an individual's self-image within a culture Independent individual is a unique
entity Interdependent emphasis on relational or in-group connectedness Self-face: protective concern about ones own image in a conflict situation Other-face: concern for others image in a conflict situation FACING UP: THREE COMPONENTS OF ICC FACEWORK Stella Ting-Toomey (1997) identifies three dimensions for ICC facework:
Part 1: Knowledge Without culture-sensitive knowledge, we cant learn to uncover our ethnocentric lenses during ICC situations. Although recognizing that meaning and importance of face varies based on individual identities, Ting-Toomey suggests the following: Never criticize in public Realize a public apology, or pre-apology may be necessary Avoid pointing out who made the mistake Accept the face that someone is giving to you Self-effacement may be necessary PART 2: MINDFULNESS
Mindfulness developing a holistic view of the factors in a conflict situations. Milton Bennett calls this mental flexibility perceptual agility The ability to shift between two mutually exclusive frames of reference. Also known as analytical empathy. PART 3: INTERACTIONAL SKILLS
Ting-Toomey suggests we need skills to interact adaptively in an ICC situation: Mindful listening Chinese word for listen ( / /ting) means to listen with ears, eyes and heart. Trust-building Collaborative dialogue
CONTEXT AND PRACTICE: CRITICAL INCIDENT WHAT ARE CRITICAL INCIDENT EXERCISES? Critical incident exercises start with a presentation of a short story describing a problematic encounter between two different cultures-an encounter in which there is some kind of misunderstanding. There are different possible explanations for what
may have gone wrong. There is no right explanation of the situation. Helps learners recognize difference between observations and interpretations Build awareness of giving the benefit of the doubt choices (Snow, 2014) CRITICAL INCIDENTS ENCOUNTERS (CIES) Build students mindfulness of how they go about interpreting the behavior of others. Encourage the habit of pausing to consider
alternative possible explanations of puzzling or problematic behavior, rather than jumping to ethnocentric or wrong conclusions Dual process of thinking (Kahneman, 2011) fast thinking = automatic, instinctive. slow thinking = more rational, more effort, more thorough For difficult problems, people usually use fast thinking since it is easy, but also less accurate DISCUSSION How likely is each interpretation? How generous is each interpretation?
How typical is the situation? What are the potential problems in the situation? (Snow, 2014) EXAMPLE: THE ENGLISH TEACHER Xiao Wang is taking an English class which is taught by a Western teacher. Xiao Wangs teacher never lectures on grammar; instead the class usually consists of conversations in pairs or large group discussions of cultural issues.
Today, Xiao Wang was confused about how to use the and a in English, so in class she asked the teacher to explain. However, instead of explaining, she said: I generally prefer not to explain grammar rules. Why do you think the teacher refused to explain? With a partner, think of five possible explanations and then choose the ones that seem most likely. POSSIBLE INTERPRETATIONS 1. The teacher avoids explaining grammar because she doesnt know how to explain grammar very well
(and doesnt like it very much). 2. The teacher doesnt think grammar is important. The teachers main goal is to build students communication skills, so she focuses more on communication and fluency than on grammar. 3. The teacher refuses to give long explanations because she thinks they will slow down the lesson. 4. She feels her method is more efficient. 5. The teacher thinks the students rely too much on memorizing grammar rules, so tries to encourage them to figure out rules for themselves. EXAMPLE 2: THE QUIZ
Every two weeks, Amy gave her students a vocabulary quiz. One day during the test, Amy saw two students exchanging test papers. She asked them to change the papers back. The students looked at her and continued writing on the papers. Amy took both papers away and tore the papers in full view of all the other students to make the point to the class that she would not tolerate cheating. Later, Amy heard from one of the native teachers that the students were very upset. (Adapted from Apedaile, 2008)
What do you think the students were CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES AND SUGGESTIONS FACE TO FACE: YOU AND STUDENTS IN THE CLASSROOM Chose activities with different levels of participation, and consider ordering activities from low to high risk (Pack,
POSSIBLE ACTIVITIES Critical incident encounters see above Take a Stand see handout for directions. The Wind Blows for Those see handout for directions. Vocabulary taboo see handout for directions. Folktale retelling see handout for directions Sarahs self-effacing vocabulary lessons Alexs sociolinguistics lessons, e.g. culturally charged words
PROVERB BRAINSTORM 1. With a partner, please read the Chinese proverb and discuss the meaning. 2. What choices could you make as a teacher to reflect these values/considerations in your classroom? Think about attitudes, procedures, approaches and activities. SO WHAT? The concept of face is a lens through which we can build intercultural competence both ours and our students!
The goal of building intercultural competence is to move from ethnocentrism toward enthnorelativism, which hinges on the ability for intercultural empathy. Intercultural empathy is the ability to temporarily set aside ones own worldview and assumptions and intentionally taking on different, specific set of beliefs When both parties practice intercultural empathy, they create a virtual third culture, which is necessary for effective multicultural communication. Effective multicultural communication leads to an effective learning environment. (Bennett, IDRI)
THIRD CULTURE BENNETT INTERCULTURAL EMPATHY - BENNETT QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION Look at the question you wrote at the beginning of class. Do you have an answer for your question? If yes, please share both the question and the answer with the class. If not, please ask it now.
STUDENT VOICES I understand why some Chinese students are afraid of "losing their faces", mainly because they have ever received "venoms" or insulting (not every single family in China is well-educated so some ppl might be intuitively expressing themselves as "being vicious") from their speaking so as you know, , they don't want to speak out again. And as their classmates or any other kinds of "witness", ppl around who ever seen those insulting happened shall not speak out either. Gradually they lose confidence of speaking and may keep silent all their life. Gin Wang, freshman
STUDENT VOICES Some of Chinese students care so much their faces. On class, they don't like to stand up and answer teacher's question. Because many of them afraid they would lose face if their answers are wrong. They feel embarrassed about that. If the teacher in class can encourage them, they will be more active in the class. For example, you can tell them 'standing up to answer questions is a chance to show your courage. And if your answers are not correct, you don't need to feel embarrassed but feel proud for your courage! Everyone would make mistakes. That's ordinary.' And
also, you can prepare some little gift to motivate them. Shara, junior STUDENT VOICES For me, I am not afraid of losing face, coz I think losing face doesn't matters in class, to learn is more important, but sometimes I fear, coz I care about the opinions from others, they might look at me like I am strange, like this moment, I will keep silent, but actually I know the students who look at me probably don't know the answer either. Vanessa aka Waiting aka Wei Ting, Senior
TEACHER VOICES Definitely never putting down any mistake and encouraging every attempt so that not only that student but others also see it's ok to try, it doesnt have to be right. certainly questions like 'do you understand?' are not particularly helpful as they will always say yes, not only so they dont lose face but also so that the teacher doesnt lose face,,, as the teacher is always considered to be source of knowledge and know better than students... so admitting they don't understand may be suggesting the teacher didn't explain well, and therefore not such a good teacher.
group work before calling on individuals tend to strengthen their faith that their answer is not just their own but the same as the group, is also helpful. Stephen Keen, Lecturer at Beijing Normal University at Zhuhai
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