Publication details [#1677]

Arundale, Robert B. 2013. Is face the best metaphor? / ¿Es imagen social la mejor metáfora? Pragmática Sociocultural / Sociocultural Pragmatics 1 (2) : 282–297. 16 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Berlin: Walter de Gruyter


The article focuses on the metaphor of “face” and its potential to account for the phenomena examined by Goffman (1955) and, in general, for an array of social practices across various cultural groups. Using a Yin and Yang dialectic to identify three modes of explaining pragmatic phenomena, the author tries to demonstrate how metaphors enable and constrain understandings of the phenomena they describe along with the research on these phenomena. The author challenges the viability of the metaphor in question, arguing that it has restricted both theory and research to the individual aspects of human existence, while leaving out other important social dimensions. The benefits of employing alternative metaphors to describe social phenomena are thus discussed.