25. Short Paper: Visual Argument


PREFACE: A video by two of my classmates explored a type of intercultural interaction called “face communication.”  I think it’s fascinating to learn what other people are thinking about on the inside while they’re interacting with other people. Here’s the transcript of the video:

Arabella: Hey Noor, is everything okay?

Noor:  Yes, I was just explaining to Juana about how to use the different pricing functions on our sales iPad for the coffee shop.  I’ve studied the store’s current system and I’ve also figured out some helpful tips to make it work even better.

Arabella:  I know. I overheard you. Actually, what you’re telling her is completely wrong!  Juana, make sure you touch this link and follow these required steps or everything will be messed up.

Juana:  Oh, I see. But I’m so glad Noor has been helping me. I’m new, and he’s taught me a lot already about many things and says I’m lucky to get a job here at such a fun, quality coffee shop.

Arabella:  Really? But we need to be careful we get those prices right.

ANALYSIS:  According to the work of Fred Jandt, discussed in his book, Intercultural Communication, 2015, people of different cultural backgrounds will typically tend to communicate in three styles:  self-face, other-face, or mutual-face.  If I’m speaking with a “self-face” point of view, I want people to think about what I’m saying, thinking, or believing is most important.  “Other-face” means that I really want to know what someone else knows or is concerned about.  “Mutual-face” considers my own concerns, as well as others, to be equally important.  In the conversation above, Arabella is focused on “self-face” talk, Noor on “mutual-face,” and Juana, “other-face.”  What about you?  What kind of communicator do you think best describes how you talk to people?