Document Type : Research Paper


1 English Department, Humanities Faculty, Bu Ali Sina University

2 English Department, Humanities Faculty, Bu Ali Sina University,Hamedan,Iran

3 English Department, Humanities Faculty, Bu Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran


Although the concept of ‘face’ has recently been the focus of attention in language pragmatics, face theory and research have dealt with individual rather than social aspects of human interactions (Arundale, 2013). In order to assess the epistemological and methodological dimensions of face in recent literature, this qualitative meta-synthetic study examines the concept of face in intercultural and multicultural communicative interactions. A total of 13 intercultural face studies published in two leading journals, Journal of Pragmatics and Intercultural Pragmatics, were identified and a thorough qualitative content analysis was conducted to identify the core themes and commonalities. The emerging themes portrayed the concept of face as culture and language specific, relational, interactional, and location-specific, co-constructed and negotiated by the participants in the ongoing discourse activities. Concerning the methodology adopted by researchers in the realms of pragmatics in general and face studies in particular, it is noted that most of intercultural face studies employed mainly audio and video interaction recordings, observations, interviews, and field notes and procedures like including linguistic ethnography, conversation analysis, and interactional sociolinguistic procedures were not used while it seems a more comprehensive understanding of face is achieved through ethnographic, conversation analytic, and interactional sociolinguistic studies in a range of different communicative contexts. The study nominates some methodological aspects of face for further studies in the intercultural pragmatics research area.


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