The Concept of "Face"

Face is the social standing of a person, linked with culture and other terms, such as honour and its opposite, shame. Face is all about appearance and not to look bad in the eyes of others. Face is about how others see you, how they preceive your value, status, credibility or social standing. When equated to Western values, face is very similar to the notion of reputation. Face can also be equated to one's social status and power. Having face or "good face" means someone has a good reputation in front of one's peers. It means that you are generally dependable, reliable, and safe to deal with.

"Losing face" indicates a person who has lost his power position, such as being expulsed from the Guild or suffering a humiliating defeat, results in a loss of face, which is not good. Loss of face is not simply a form of embarrassment (that's the psychological response). Situations that lead to a loss of face include being insulted, forced to give up something valued, fail to achieve a goal or damage a valued relationship.

A person with good face can also "give face" to someone who's reputation is under question or has already been lost, which is known as the act of "saving face".

For example, an older Ebon hunter who catches birds and deers to trade in the villages is about to retire. So he takes his eldest son with him, introducing him to his fellow hunters and the people that usually does business with. In doing so, the old man has helped establish his son's face (reputation) by lending some of his own credibility.

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