The reschematization of face in Chinese overseas students’ intercultural experience
Min Hou | Shanghai University of International Business and Economics
There has been little longitudinal research on the relationship between how sojourners define their personal face
and how this influences their use of the host language in intercultural settings. This study employs the Cultural Linguistic
Perspective developed by Sharifian (2011, 2017), using repeated episodic interviews to explore the process of reschematization of face among three Chinese
overseas students in Australia. The students’ schemas of face gradually moved away from the Chinese ideals of sociality and
indirectness towards Australian norms of individual autonomy and directness in both English use and social relationships. This
study points to the need to examine the contribution of personal, situational, and cultural factors to this process.
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