Koutlaki, S. A. (2002). Offers and expressions of thanks as face enhancing acts: Tae’arof in Persian. Journal of Pragmatics, 34(12), 1733-1756.
Public image integrates social and personal attributes – which define people’s perception on the social or cultural description – of an individual or community. To evaluate the concept of “face” as an aspect of public image, Koutlaki has been specific in conducting a research that discusses the communities in Tehran and London guided by an exclusive literature and empirical review. A comparison of face is made on different communities (such as China and Iran) and this provides a framework on which the Persian face develops an interesting argument. Koutlaki notes that the Persian face is described with reference to social organization setup – families – and the Persian politeness which are engulfed in pride and honor.
Koutlaki uses casual conversations that are important in measuring the extent of the Persian face with pride and honor as the main variables. Moreover, the use of formal interviews also play a key role in determining social significance of the identified variables. It is noted that casual conversations provide key insight when evaluating human or social attributes that describe the public image of an individual. It would be vital to find out which kind of personal attributes communicate the true status of public image as illustrated by the Persian face perception.
Koutlaki has been specific in addressing social variables that are integrated with personal attributes that define the Persian face. The use of pride and honor – as a means of measuring public image in a qualitative research – has been instrumental in developing the thesis identified above. Interrelating variables that describe social virtues of a community has been essential in significant ways. Koutlaki acknowledges that long term participant observation is the most accurate form of measuring public image as evidenced in the Persian face theory.