Face and (im)politeness

Jim O'Driscoll

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter surveys the concept of face and the derivative term ‘facework’ as used in the field of (Im)politeness studies. It begins with a historical account: how it was originally conceptualised as a property of the self in interaction, then given a central role in one theory of politeness (that of Brown and Levinson) and subsequently reconceptualised as worthy of study in its own right. The account demonstrates that face can be seen as a motivation for behaviour in interaction and/or as a result of what happens in interaction. The chapter discusses the many other ongoing issues concerning the nature of face: the relative emphasis to be accorded its personal, relational and interactional aspects, its relation to notions such as identity and its contents.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Linguistic (Im)Politeness
EditorsJonathan Culpeper, Michael Haugh, Dániel Z. Kádár
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781137375087
ISBN (Print)9781137375070
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2017


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