Publication Year: 1994
Designed to acquaint readers with the most up-to-date information on close relationship theory and research, Facework provides a thorough examination of the authors' research, as well as that of others, on the self-aspects of communication in intimate relationships. Gaining face, maintaining face, and losing face all have numerous implications in the management of close relationships. Cupach and Metts make a compelling case for facework as basic relationship currency at any stage of a relationship, whether it be formation, maintenance, or disengagement. Written in a clear, humorous style, Facework offers the reader a very pleasurable learning experience and the opportunity to gain deeper insight into the management of problematic situations occurring in close relationships. Professionals and scholars in psychology, sociology, communication, family studies, and social work ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Face Management in Interpersonal Relationships
- Communication and the Management of Face
- Face and Face Needs
- Threats to Face
- The Aggravation-Mitigation Continuum
- Personal Idioms
- The Importance of Facework in Interpersonal Relationships
- Preview of Subsequent Chapters
- Chapter 2: Embarrassing Predicaments
- The Nature of Embarrassing Predicaments
- Types of Predicaments
- Self-Induced Embarrassing Predicaments
- Predicaments Created by Others
- The Severity of Predicaments
- Chronic Susceptibility to Embarrassment
- Remedial Responses to Embarrassing Predicaments
- The Influence of Predicament Type on Remedial Strategies
- Principles Guiding Effective Facework in Predicaments
- Embarrassment in Close Relationships
- Chapter 3: Managing Vulnerability in Escalating Relationships
- Social Face becomes Relationship-Specific Face
- Getting Acquainted
- Uncertainty Reduction
- Affinity Seeking
- Negotiating Sexual Involvement
- Sexual Initiation
- Sexual Resistance
- Practicing Safe Sex
- Developing Symbolic Interdependence
- Chapter 4: Managing Problematic Episodes in Established Relationships
- Complaints and Disagreements
- Social Support
- Relational Transgressions
- Relationship Transgressions as Face Threats
- Managing the Revelation/Discovery of a Transgression
- Chapter 5: Facework in Relationship Disengagement
- Typologies of Disengagement Strategies
- A Model of Politeness and Disengagement
- Off-Record Strategies
- On-Record Strategies
- Chapter 6: Relationships: About Face
- Implications of Face Management
- Relational Culture and Face
- Face and the Dialectical Nature of Relationships
- Intimacy and Facework
- Relational Culture and the Social Network
- Problematic Episodes
- Interpersonal Competence, Relational Compatibility, and Face
- Facework in Intercultural Relationships
SAGE Series on Close Relationships[Page ii]
Clyde Hendrick, Ph.D., and Susan S. Hendrick, Ph.D.
In this series …
by Susan S. Hendrick and Clyde Hendrick
by Rodney M. Cate and Sally A. Lloyd
by Rosemary Blieszner and Rebecca G. Adams
TWO CAREERS/ONE FAMILY
by Lucia Albino Gilbert
by Valerian J. Derlega, Sandra Metts,
Sandra Petronio, and Stephen T. Margulis
by Susan Sprecher and Kathleen McKinney
by William R. Cupach and Sandra Metts
by Steve Duck
REMARRIED FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS
by Lawrence H. Ganong and Marilyn Coleman
Copyright © 1994 by Sage Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
For information address:
SAGE Publications, Inc.
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, California 91320
SAGE Publications Ltd.
6 Bonhill Street
London EC2A 4PU
SAGE Publications India Pvt. Ltd.
Greater Kailash I
New Delhi 110 048 India
Printed in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Cupach, William R.
Facework / authors, William R. Cupach, Sandra Metts.
p. cm.—(Sage series on close relationships)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-8039-4711-9.—ISBN 0-8039-4712-7 (pbk.)
1. Interpersonal relations. 2. Interpersonal communication. 3. Interpersonal conflict. 4. Self-presentation. 5. Social skills.
I. Metts, Sandra. II. Title. III. Series.
94 95 96 97 98 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Sage Production Editor: Yvonne Könneker
Series Editors’ Introduction[Page ix]
When we first began our work on love attitudes more than a decade ago, we did not know what to call our research area. In some ways it represented an extension of earlier work in interpersonal attraction. Most of our scholarly models were psychologists (though sociologists had long been deeply involved in the areas of courtship and marriage), yet we sometimes felt as if our work had no professional “home.” That has all changed. Our research not only has a home, it has an extended family as well, and the family is composed of relationship researchers. Over the past decade the discipline of close relationships (also called personal relationships and intimate relationships) has emerged, developed, and flourished.
Two aspects of close relationships research should be noted. The first is its rapid growth, resulting in numerous books, journals, [Page x]handbooks, book series, and professional organizations. As fast as the field grows, however, the demand for even more research and knowledge seems to be ever increasing. Questions about close, personal relationships still far exceed answers. The second noteworthy aspect of the new discipline of close relationships is its interdisciplinary nature. The field owes its vitality to scholars from communication, family studies and human development, psychology (clinical, counseling, developmental, social), and sociology as well as other disciplines such as nursing and social work. It is this interdisciplinary wellspring that gives close relationships research its diversity and richness, qualities that we hope to achieve in the current series.
The Sage Series on Close Relationshipsis designed to acquaint diverse readers with the most up-to-date information about various topics in close relationships theory and research. Each volume in the series covers a particular topic or theme in one area of close relationships. Each book reviews the particular topic area, describes contemporary research in the area (including the authors’ own work, where appropriate), and offers some suggestions for interesting research questions and/or real-world applications related to the topic. The volumes are designed to be appropriate for students and professionals in communication, family studies, psychology, sociology, and social work, among others. A basic assumption of the series is that the broad panorama of close relationships can best be portrayed by authors from multiple disciplines, so that the series cannot be “captured” by any single disciplinary bias.
The current book, called simply Facework,is the first series volume with a clear communication orientation. Authors William Cupach and Sandra Metts review their own research and that of others on the self-presentational aspects of communication in intimate relationships. Gaining face, maintaining face, and losing face all have numerous implications for the management of close relationships, and these two communication scholars make a compelling case for facework as basic relationship currency. Whether our relationships are in stages of formation, maintenance, or disengagement, we are (or should be) attending to the face needs of ourselves and our partners. The book is exceedingly readable; its [Page xi]clear and humorous prose offers the reader a pleasurable learning experience. Perhaps that is to be expected from two experts in communication.Series Editors[Page xii]
This book is about the concepts of faceand facework.Our goal is to show the centrality of face issues in the conduct of close relationships by extending and amplifying face management theory. We believe these concepts are useful for understanding certain aspects of the everyday functioning of close relationships. In particular, we find the management of face to be useful for illuminating how relational partners cope with problematic and challenging interaction episodes.
In the opening chapter, we delineate the concepts of face and facework and explain their relevance to social interaction and personal relationships. Chapter 2 characterizes the prototypical problematic episode—the embarrassing social predicament. We suggest that coping with embarrassing situations helps individuals to learn the social expectations and practices associated with [Page xiv]managing threats to face. Chapter 3 addresses face concerns that arise in developing relationships. We specifically consider how partners manage vulnerability as informational and physical intimacy increase. An important theme in Chapter 3 is that partners construct a shared relational culture different from, but based on, social norms and expectations. In Chapter 4, we consider the management of problematic episodes by partners in established close relationships. We examine the problematic episodes of complaining, seeking or rendering social support, and discovering or revealing a relational transgression. The focus in Chapter 5 shifts to the role of facework in the disengagement and dissolution of close relationships. The final chapter crystallizes some key implications that derive from application of face management theory to close relationships.
We are grateful to the editors of this series, Clyde Hendrick and Susan Hendrick, for their generous patience and guidance throughout this project. We also want to acknowledge our very special friends, Sam and George, who have taught us more than anyone about close relationships, and about ourselves.
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