Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

David Schweingruber


From the lens of symbolic interaction and impression management framework, people tend to manage their impressions in the front stage settings, and their performances are guided by the conventional moral rules within that setting. My study explores the role of impression management framework in multi-language settings. In a front stage setting, Chinese speakers are able to use language to set up a barrier, and this barrier enables them to include the Chinese speakers into the conversation and exclude the rest of the audiences. Thus, impression management, especially verbal impression management is conducted in an unconventional and different way.

This study provides the inappropriate, sometimes offensive topics Chinese speakers talked about in front of American audiences, Chinese speakers’ thoughts on speaking a foreign language in front of American audiences and American students’ perceptions of feeling offended by the Chinese conversations or not. It is applicable to many other social psychology areas because Chinese is not the only “secret code” one can use to include and exclude certain people while conducting a conversation. This study also explores a more complicated setting situation that includes cross-culture and multi-language components. Thus, the mono-language setting from the majority of previous impression management studies are extended and much fully learned.


Copyright Owner

Fangheyue Ma



File Format


File Size

91 pages