The desire to achieve harmony between the self and the non-self remains an essential preoccupation of the Vietnamese in interpersonal relations outside the family group. The basic principles underlying family relationships are extended to the relationships between members of wider social groups. Social relation can refer to a multitude of social interactions, regulated by social norms, between two or more people, with each having a social position and performing a social role. The concept of society as an extension of the family is evident in the transposition into social usage of a language originally intended for domestic life. Vietnamese uses more than a score of kinship terms as personal pronouns. The choice of the appropriate word depends on the relative age, social status, gender, degree of acquaintance, respect, and affection between speakers and hearers who are not related to each other by blood or marriage.
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