The Face-Negotiation Theory and Stella Ting-Toomey Essay

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In the world of communication, there are many theories which describe different ways people communicate. According to Doctor Thomas Hanitzsch, an associate professor of communication at the University of Munich in Germany, “Communication Theory is an international forum publishing high quality, original research into the theoretical development of communication from across a wide array of disciplines” (“Communication Theory”). A specific communication theory that will be highlighted is the Face-Negotiation theory developed by Stella Ting-Toomey. Simply stated, Dr. Ting-Toomey suggests that conflict is a consequence of identity management on an individual and cultural level, and occurs when an individual or group’s face is threatened.…show more content…
Some additional information includes, that according to “Stella Ting-Toomey’s Home on the Web,” Dr. Ting-Toomey has held major leadership roles in international communication associations and has served on more than fifteen editorial boards (“Stella”). To further explain the theory of Face-Negotiation, when Dr. Ting-Toomey suggests conflict is a consequence of identity management on an individual and cultural level, she means that culture has a significant impact in regards to identity management. One’s culture has defined ‘rules’ as to how someone is to properly interact amongst other individuals and groups, and these ‘rules’ include values, norms, beliefs and traditions. Generally, an individual would strive to adhere and follow all of their culture’s ‘rules,’ and in turn, would view another individual turning against those ‘rules’ as a threat to their overall culture or beliefs. Similarly, Dr. Ting-Toomey states that conflict can come from a clash of these ‘rules,’ a misinterpretation, or as a result of misapplying certain expectations and standards for behavior for a given situation (Griffin “List”). The Face-Negotiation theory suggests there are three goals that any conflict will revolve around; content, relational and identity, or rather, needs, interests or goals. Based on M. Afzalur Rahim’s work, Dr. Ting-Toomey and later John Oetzel, identified eight distinct responses to conflicting situations based on an incompatibility (Griffin
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