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Appendix: Application Living Together or Going it alone ? He Shuxun. Comments from the previous week.

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Appendix: Application

Living Together or Going it alone?

He Shuxun

comments from the previous week
Comments from the previous week
  • In the video clip, I can observe that there are cultural differences between Chinese and Japanese company, although Chinese and Japanese company are said to be similar. It seems the employees in Chinese company always seek for direct instruction while Japanese company adopt common rules and norms instead of giving instructions directly. (L.C.F.J)
The clip shows the different between Japan and China, that their culture patterns are not the same, thus leading to conflicts between the Japanese and Chinese staff. It also shows that Chinese people who have learnt Confucianism tends to think more about their family. In order not to let her family down, she works hard to win over the Japanese OL in typing.
This is not because of own pride, but for the people that support the Chinese lady to Japan. Hence, this clip relates very much to not only the different cultural pattern of different places, but also the thinking and concepts. The time element is also a factor showed in the clip that is different in culture. Asian, especially Chinese, treats time so importantly that they treasure the time, so they work very fast and don’t want to waste time. (WHS)
In this drama, we can see how different Japanese and Chinese cultural backgrounds by seeing Japanese workers at the office don’t want any change that comes from Chinese workers. It’s related to the UAI scores analysis. There’s a word I thought it describes Japanese people’s characters really well. I think Japanese still have some kinds of spirits of people in a closed country, and sometimes exclude others. I guess it’s a normal expression of fear of being invaded. (AN)
  • I feel very embarrassed when the video was playing. I think the video can shows the cultural differences between Chinese and Japanese. But I can say this video can only reflect part of the culture. We can see the Power Distance between both countries. (KL)
There’s a clear ingroup/outgroup divide here. Chinese workers and Japanese workers naturally becomes two groups and kind of compete with each other without even trying to understand more about the other side. When the men explain that Japanese want to maintain their face so they don’t want to join the competition he is trying to explain the real meaning that may not be understood by someone from a lower context culture or simply from other culture. We can also see the uncertainty avoidance faced by the Japanese workers, they don’t want to change jobs. I think the video clip is quite dramatic and exaggerating, they may leave bad impressions on Japanese students. (WF)
The video clip explains Power Distance. The company change the role of employees without considering their condition and experience. The company said that “we should do, because the executive ordered”. This opinion really displays Power Distance. (YF)
  • Claiming a direct opinion to your boss in the workplace is an awkward and impolite in Japan. On the other hand, a Chinese girl expressed what she wanted to do. Also, language skill was highly valued in the scene. If you cannot speak Japanese appropriately and fluently, you’re considered as “unskilled” in the workplace in Japan. This might be a reason why Japanese workplace is not diverse. (AM)
  • In the video clip, the way that the Chinese girl answered the phone reveals that the concept of power difference between Japanese and Chinese. Japanese usually use honorific form of language to speak to superior but the Chinese girl just used casual form of language when answering the phone. Besides, when the superior asked the other Chinese girl to clean the office, she obeyed even she did not want to. This illustrated the Chinese Confucian cultural style of conformity, meaning to sustain harmony by obeying the orders of superior. Other than that, when the two Chinese girls asked their Japanese colleagues to teach them what to do and how to do their work, most of the Japanese just muddle through it. This shows their concept of in-group and out-group. As they view the Chinese as out-group, they refuse to teach them. (LV)
The video showed that Japan is a high power distance culture. The younger girl used honorific to Shimako who is superior. On the other hand, Shimako spoke to the girl without it. Also, the Japanese chief got furious when the Chinese trainee girl spoke to him without it.

( EF) 

  • One main relation is that of the communication barrier. Even though the Chinese girls understood some Japanese, even between themselves that had conflicts since they are from different regions of China to begin with. By the women surpassing the men in the company we can also see the Masculinity/Femininity pattern in which men are usually the authority, but women had the power to succeed as well. (YA)
how many of the following items do you agree
How many of the following items do you agree?
  • 1. Each individual has a set of characteristic, distinctive attributes.
  • 2. I am in control of my own behavior; I feel better when I am in situations where choice and personal preference determine outcomes.
  • 3. I am oriented toward personal goals of success and achievement; the relationships
and group memberships sometimes get in the way of attaining these goals.
  • 4. I strive to feel good about myself.
  • 5. I believe that the same rules should apply to everyone.
non western self
Non-western self
  • The previous two pages reflect North-American or Western values.
  • An Asian expression reflecting a cultural prejudice

against individuality: “The peg that stands out is pounded down.”

c.f. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

1 1 overview of non western self
1.1. Overview of non-western self
  • The rules that apply to relationships are local, particular, and well specified by roles rather than universals.
  • It is natural to carry out one’s obligation and one is not thanked for carrying out one’s obligation.e.g. Mongolian hardly say “Thank you.”
  • Competence as a leader is not making a choice but bringing many people’s ideas together.
1 2 western eastern comparison

1. Persons are independent of situations or particular personal relationships.


1. Persons exist within particular situations where there are particular people with whom one has relationship.

1.2. Western-Eastern Comparison


2. Individuals feel detached from their in-groups and tend not to make much difference between in-group and out-group.


2. Individuals feel placed in their in-groups, and distant from out-group.


3. The person can move from one group to another without significant change.


3. The person is connected, fluid and conditional, and he/she understands him/her in relation to the whole (family, organization, society).


4. Find it difficult to describe themselves in a particular context.

e.g. -I am what I am.


4. Description depends on context.

e.g., -I am hard-working at work.

-I am fun-loving with friends.


5. They are likely to report to be more unique than they really are.

6. Children are encouraged to establish superiority and uniqueness.


5. They are less likely to report to be as unique as they really are.

6. Children are taught to be harmoniously with others and encouraged to be modest.


Eastern View




Western View




1 3 linguistic analysis
1.3. Linguistic analysis
  • In Chinese, there is no equivalent word for “individualism.” “selfishness”?
  • In Korean language, “Could you come to dinner?” a special address form of “you” is required.
Yesterday, I saw a movie with my family. That was “Gran Torino.” I have seen a couple of movies either acted or directed by Clint Eastwood, and I think this one is the best among his movies.
please say the following sentences in japanese
Please say the following sentences in Japanese
  • 1-a. Invite a friend to a party.
  • 1-b. Invite a Japanese language teacher to a party.
  • 2. Ask a friend to take you to Kamakura with him/her.
  • 3. Ask a professor if he/she can write a letter of recommendation for you.
Q 2: What did you find out?
  • Q 3: What was/were the reason/s for what you found?
2 independence vs interdependence by markus kitayama 2 1 child rearing

Babies sleep in a separate bedroom.

Encouraged to voice choice.

e.g.," Give me some milk, please.”

Concentrating attention on objects.


Babies sleep in the same bed as parents.

Parents make a decision for children.

Focusing on feelings and social relations.

e.g., “The toy is crying as you threw it.”

2. Independence vs. Interdependenceby Markus & Kitayama2.1 Child rearing

Encourage their children to communicate ideas clearly.

Responsibility of communication-Sender


Encourage their children to be sensitive about others’ feeling.

Responsibility of communication-Receiver

2 2 characteristics
Independent societies

1. Insist on freedom of individual action

2. Desire for individual distinctiveness

3. Preference for egalitalianism and achieved status

4. Universal rules

5. The self is a unitary free agent.

Interdependent societies

1. Preference for collective action

2. Preference for making a harmony with the group

3. Acceptance of hierarchy and ascribed status

4. Particularistic approaches depending on contexts

5. The self is part of a larger whole.

2.2 Characteristics
question 4
Question 4
  • How do you handle the case of an employee whose work for a company, though excellent for 15 years, has been unsatisfactory for a year? What would you do if there is no sign that the performance will improve? What if the employee is older than you?
3 awase and erabi by mushakoji
3. Awase and Erabi by Mushakoji
  • The presence and absence of the tradition of debate has dramatic implications for political life and negotiation.
active agentic style
(active, agentic) style
  • We can freely manipulate our environment for our own purposes.
  • We can set our objective, and act to change the environment.
  • There is no point of concentrating on the relationship.
h armonious fitting in style
Harmonious, fitting-in style
  • Rejects the idea that we can manipulate the environment and assumes instead that we adjust ourselves to it.
  • Relationships are long-term.
  • Either/Or choices are avoided.

Funatsu, M. (1983). <Book Review> Eshun Hamaguchi, Japan as a Society of "Contextualism" Japanese sociological review

Vol.34, No.2(19830930) pp. 61-64

Nisbet, R. E. (2006). “Living together vs. going it alone.” L. A. Samovar, R. E. Porter & E. R. McDaniel (Eds.,) Intercultural communication: A reader, (pp. 103-113). Belmont, CA: Thomson.