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Research Paper
Jason Cashmere
Stella Ting-Toomey, a researcher at California State University Fullerton, defines face negotiation theory as the cultural differences in response to conflict(Ting-Toomey#4). This theory is employed and used metaphorically for our self-image while in public(Ting-Toomey#4). The foundation of the theory pertains to the specific verbal and non-verbal messages in reference to face work(Ting-Toomey #2). Our identity, in turn, is often second guessed. In many scenarios, the end result is either conflict or chaos. Stella Ting-Toomey's face negotiation theory parallels how different cultures manage conflict differently. It however is not very complex and may leave a first time reader both dumbfounded and confused.

The face is an extension of one's self-concept. The face and how people manage it exists in all cultures(West 447-448). Positive Face, or the desire to be liked, and negative face, the desire to be autonomous make up the two types of face(West 448). This is situated around the politeness level of the individual.

The United States is an individualistic society, concerned with individual needs over group needs(West 453). Japan is a more collectivistic culture, concerned more with group concerns as oppose to individual concerns.

Conflict often results when individualistic cultures clash with collectivistic cultures. This is due to the two distinct cultures difference in managing conflict. The five types of conflict management styles are as follows: avoiding, obliging, compromising, dominating, and integrating(West 455-456).

The U.S. often employs the avoiding, obliging, and dominating approaches. This is evident in the ritualistic excuse makers throughout the U.S. These types of individuals are usually concerned with satisfying the needs of themselves. In other words, the majority of U.S. citizens are concerned only with the saving of their own face.

Japan frequently employs the compromising and integrating conflict management strategies. They are more concerned with saving the face of others in addition to their own. The end result...

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