Chapter 4 Cultural Dynamics in Assessing Global Markets
Elements of Culture • Material Culture • Technology • Economics • Social InstitutionsSocial OrganizationEducation Political Structures • Humans and The Universe • Belief Systems • AestheticsGraphic and Plastic ArtsFolkloreMusic, Drama, and Dance • Language
Fractured Translations English Translations made by Japanese firm added to labels to increase prestige for their products being sold in China. ProductEnglish Translation Equivalent to Japanese Spam Liver Putty Toilet Paper My Fanny Brand Ready to Eat Pancakes Strawberry Crap Dessert Antifreeze Spray Hot Piss Brand Pediatrician’s Slogan Specialist in Deceased Children SOURCE: “Some Strawberry Crap Dessert, dear?” South China Morning Post, December 9, 1996 p. 12.
Cultural Factors Never touch the head of a Thai or Pass an object over it The head is considered sacred in Thailand. Avoid using triangular shapes in Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan. It is considered a negative shape. The number 7 is considered bad luck in Kenya, good luck in the Czech Republic and has a magical connotation in Benin, Africa. The number 10 is bad luck in Korea. The number 4 means death in Japan. Red represents witchcraft and death in many African countries. Red is a positive color in Denmark. SOURCE: Business America, July 12, 1993
Cultural Differences between Japanese and American Individual Lifestyles AmericansA Culture of Self-expression JapaneseA Culture of Self-restraint CulturalBackground Clear expression of joy and sorrow Unequivocal expression of “Yes/No” Strong self-assertion Strong personality Excellent negotiating skills Priority of self-interest Ambiguous expression of Joy/Sorrow Equivocal expression of “Yes/No” Weak self-assertion Weak personality Poor negotiating skills Priority of harmony with others Reticence Modesty Reserve Punctiliousness Politeness Obligation SOURCE: Norihiko Shimizu, “Today’s Taboos may be gone Tomorrow,” Tokyo Business, February 1995, p.50.
Cultural Differences between Japanese and American Social Life American SocietyDignity of Individuals Japanese Society“In the Same Boat” Concept Dignity of individuals Individual work ethic Great individual freedom Respect for rules An open and transparent society Multi-cultural society A society excelling in creativity and versatility Individual decisions over consensus A society which pursues the ideal Human relations oriented Dependence on the group Lack of individual freedom Low regard for rules A closed society, lacking in transparency Mono-cultural society An orderly and uniform society Dependence on consensus A society which pursues harmony with reality SOURCE: Norihiko Shimizu, “Today’s Taboos may be gone Tomorrow,” Tokyo Business, February 1995, p.50.
Cultural Change Pas de Franglais OldNew Prime Time Heures de grande ecoute (hours of largest audience) Air Bag Coussin gonflable de protection (Inflatable cushion of protection) Cookie Sable americain Trans. (American cookie) SOURCE: Adapted from “La Guerre Franglaise,” Fortune, June 13, 1994, p. 14.