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In the following article, several of the basic points surrounding Face will be explained, which all Westerners need to be familiar with to succeed in China.
The concept of Face can be understood more easily by breaking it down into three separate components: the individual view, the community view, and actions.
For example, in the modern Chinese economy, there are many opportunities to buy status symbols, which help a person gain prestige. For example, status in a Chinese family is divided by very distinct roles; there are even separate terms used to address older and younger cousins, aunts, and uncles.
Giving the same amount of respect to older and younger aunts or uncles might be viewed as a serious breach of etiquette. In some cases, these actions might occur unintentionally or instead be used as a tactic to achieve a specific result.
For example, giving someone Face e. Face is very visible in the Chinese business environment and plays an important role in inter- and intra-company communication , business negotiations, and the development and maintenance of relationships.
In China, company hierarchy is much more important than in many Western countries. Not only are leaders and managers placed on a higher pedestal, but the distinction between different levels of management is much clearer and more important.
Many Chinese leaders and managers expect respect from their subordinates and in many cases expect to be obeyed without question, no matter the rationality or fairness behind a request.
When Chinese businesspeople build relationships with one another, Face is very important. With two business people of the same relative position or status, Face is often given and received equally and is the cement that holds a relationship together.
Sometimes giving Face to a contact entails simply words and compliments, though sometimes gifts are required and invitations to dinners , entertainment, or other social events.
To the Chinese, there is a natural order in society as well as business, and if one is unwilling or unable to show the proper amount of Face to those that feel they deserve it, then one will likely be judged to not have good character.
This has the potential to wreck business deals and sour relationships, so with regard to the issue of Face, most Chinese businesspeople tread with care.
Even after understanding the basic mechanics and uses of Face, it can be difficult to understand how the concept actually works in practice.
Listed below are several specific examples of how giving and losing Face plays out in everyday life and business in China.
First of all, foreigners are not always expected to adhere to the same exacting standards of respect and prestige as locals in China are. The influx of Western culture into many of the larger Chinese coastal cities and other more developed areas , along with greater numbers of local Chinese with experience dealing with Westerners, has led to more flexible interpretations of business and social etiquette.
Just as there are highly conservative Chinese managers, executives, and leaders who demand respect be paid to them at all times, there are also Chinese who have a less formal attitude, and focus on getting results over respect.
What qualities is it associated with in your culture, and is the Chinese view different? Share your thoughts in comments — or tweet us at thatsmandarin!
Follow Us. Popular Posts. How to Survive Winter in Shanghai. That's Mandarin August 15, In ancient Chinese physiognomy books, the face is often divided into 12 sections.
The location, shape, arrangement, color and gloss of the 12 palaces suggest one's fortune and fate. Get to know the meanings of each house and how the 12 houses on the face affect your life by clicking Twelve Houses.
Generally, the hidden moles such as in the eyebrows, beard, hair, etc. According to Chinese face reading, the round and raised moles with good brightness in pure red or dark black are auspicious.
Moles on Women's Face. In face reading, there is a certain relationship between face shape and personality. Each type of face reveals different characteristics.
When face acquired its Chinese sense of "prestige; honor", it filled a lexical gap in the English lexicon. Chan and Kwok write,.
The Chinese has supplied a specific "name" for a "thing" embodying qualities not expressed or possibly not fully expressed, by a number of terms in English.
The aptness of the figurative extension has probably also played a part — The nearest English synonyms of the apt figurative face are prestige , honor , respect , dignity , status , reputation , social acceptance , or good name.
Prestige is not necessary; one can easily live without it, but hardly without "face". The entire Arab culture of social and family behavior is based around Islamic concepts of dignity, or "Face".
White-facedness meaning "proud" opposite of Ro seyahi are used. In Iranian culture the meaning of linguistic face is much closer to the meaning of " Character".
So Persian speakers use some strategies in saving the face or character of each other while they communicate. Medieval Slavic documents have shown that the word has been used with various meanings, such as form, image, character, person, symbol, face, figure, statue, idol, guise and mask.
There are basically two main ways of expressing loss of face. As in China and other regions where loss of face is important, the Thai version involves sociodynamic status.
This concept is understood and treated much the same in Cambodia as elsewhere in Asia. Martin C. People strive to maintain the face they have created in social situations.
They are emotionally attached to their faces, so they feel good when their faces are maintained; loss of face results in emotional pain, so in social interactions people cooperate by using politeness strategies to maintain each other's faces.
People "are human", Joseph Agassi and I. Jarvie believe, "because they have face to care for — without it they lose human dignity. The point is that face is distinctively human.
Anyone who does not wish to declare his social bankruptcy must show a regard for face: he must claim for himself, and must extend to others, some degree of compliance, respect, and deference in order to maintain a minimum level of effective social functioning.
While it is true that the conceptualization of what constitutes face and the rules governing face behavior vary considerably across cultures, the concern for face is invariant.
Defined at a high level of generality, the concept of face is a universal. The sociological concept of face has recently been reanalyzed through consideration of the Chinese concepts of face mianzi and lian which permits deeper understanding of the various dimensions of experience of face, including moral and social evaluation, and its emotional mechanisms.
According to Hu , mianzi stands for 'the kind of prestige that is emphasized Mianzi is not only important to improve the consumer's reputation in front of significant others, but rather it is also associated with feelings of dignity, honor, and pride.
Some consumers tend to favour some brands and their products and services because of their capacity to enable them to 'gain' mianzi, which does not mean simply increase their reputation but also to show achievements and communicate these achievements to others in order to be more accepted in social circles, especially upper class circles.
Connections are particularly important in Chinese culture as people use social connections to achieve their goals.
However, mianzi has also an emotional facet. A brand that enables an individual to achieve such goals in life, in branding literature, it is labelled as 'brand mianzi', which is the capacity of a brand to provide emotions and self-enhancement to its owner.
Scholars have proved that brand mianzi affects consumer purchase intentions   and brand equity.