Briefing Note – Understanding the Concept of Face and How This Impacts the Interaction of Chinese Students within the Australian University Context


Chinese people are taught from childhood to earn, to save and to enhance one’s own face and as well as protect the face of others. Looking after ‘face’ is described as being all about maintaining harmonious social relations (Zhi Tan, 2007). This is an ancient and long-standing concept that is complex and often quite mystifying for outsiders. It continues to be of great importance for the Chinese even in this changing and globalised world.

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