Identity Management Theory

Usefulness
attempts to explain how cultural identities are negotiated through development of an interpersonal relationship
Face threats
not cooperating with others’ facework
– Ex: silence imposes on self; having to be silent when want/need to talk
Face wants
what you want people to see
– Ex: (positive) maintain relational harmony by not continuing to fight, instead focus on cooking (“yes dear.”)
Negative facework
NOT want to be imposed on
– Ex: not talking on elevator; respecting others’ needs (silence does not impose on others)
Positive facework
need cooperation from others to uphold identity
– Ex: not talking at dinner with hospice to maintain “professional face”
– patients maintain face of competent communicators because don’t expect response