The positive social value a person effectively claims for himself by the line others assume he has taken during a particular contact. Face is an image of self delineated in terms of approved social attributes.
Goffman, E., 'On facework,' Psychiatry, 18, 1955:213
Brown and Levinson, 1987
The public self-image that every member wants to claim for himself.
Brown, P. and S. Levinson, Politeness: Some Universals in Language Use, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.1987:61