Bridging Japanese/North American differences by William B. Gudykunst

By William B. Gudykunst

After laying out the elemental theories of intercultural communique, this booklet explains the similarities and ameliorations in styles of communique in Japan and the U.S.. The authors then exhibit how an knowing of those contrasting styles might help jap and North american citizens speak extra effectively.

content material: Cultural Similarities and alterations among the USA and Japan --
Language utilization within the usa and Japan --
verbal exchange styles within the usa and Japan --
expectancies for Japanese/North American conversation --
powerful Japanese/North American Communication.
summary: After laying out the fundamental theories of intercultural verbal exchange, this publication explains the similarities and modifications in styles of verbal exchange in Japan and the us. The authors then reveal how an realizing of those contrasting styles might help eastern and North americans speak extra successfully

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POWER DISTANCE Power distance is defined as "the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organizations accept that power is distributed unequally" (Hofstede & Bond, 1984, p. 419). Individuals from high power distance cultures accept power as part of society: superiors consider their subordinates to be different from themselves and vice versa. People in low power distance cultures, in contrast, see superiors and subordinates as the same kinds of people, with differences in power being due to the roles they are filling.

The importance of wa can be traced back to Prince Shootoku and the first article of the constitution written in the seventh century: "Above all else esteem concord" (Nakamura, 5 24 BRIDGING D I F F E R E N C E S 1968, p. 633). "Concord" is the word used for wa. As indicated earlier, concord or harmony alone is not sufficient to understand wa. To better understand the concept, consider how Kawashima (1967) contrasts the role of wa in Japan with individualism: In individualism there can exist co-operation, compromise, selfsacrifice, and so on, in order to adjust and reduce contradictions and oppositions, but in the final analysis there exists no real harmony (wo) .

Y Self-Conceptions An independent self-construal predominates in individualistic cultures, whereas an interdependent self-construal predominates in collectivistic cultures. An independent self-construal involves seeing oneself as a separate, unique person whose selfdefinition does not include others. An interdependent self-construal, in contrast, involves defining oneself in relation to others. Hamaguchi (1983) summarizes the ways individuals view themselves in Japan and the United States. In the United States, an "individual 4 holds a conviction that he [or she] is a firmly established substance which is solely independent, and, therefore, cannot be invalidated by others.

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