Cultural Values — страница 6

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Symmetrical relationships focus on the similarities of individuals; complementary relationships exploit differences in age, sex, role and status. There are many ways in which the Japanese publicly acknowledge a social hierarchy-in the use of language, in seating arrangements at social gatherings, ­in bowing to one another and hundreds of others. Watch Japanese each other and the principles will become quite apparent. Notice who bows lower, who waits for the other to go first, who apologizes more: (1) younger defers to older; (2) female defers to male; (3) student defers to teacher; (4); the seller's bow is lower than the buyer's; and (6) in a school club or organization where ranks are fixed, the lower ranked is, of course, subordinate. These features of interpersonal

relationships lead to an emphasis on the public self in the United States and on the private self in Japan, Americans being more open in the demonstration of personal feelings and attitudes than the Japanese. Let us look to this question in detail. JAPANESE INTERPERSONAL NORMS Numerous studies by social scientists of national character or culture have appeared in recent years, initially as a response to the need for knowledge of enemy countries in World War II. Most of these studies have is asked a substantive question: what is the nature of the behavior shared by all, or a majority, of the members of a national society? Once this shared behavior is "discovered," its written description becomes an outline of the national culture of that country. This approach has been

extensively criti­cized on the grounds that the behavior of the members of any complex society is so variable that any attempt to describe the shared items results in superficial generalization. Critics have also pointed out that descriptions of national cultures frequently consist of statements of norms only, and do not denote actual behavior. At this point in the account of our own research it is necessary to raise questions about the nature of national cultures. However, we shall not attempt to claim that our answer to these will be valid for all members of the Japanese nation. We do claim validity for our own subjects and are also willing to guess that much of what we say will apply to the majority of Japanese men who were socialized in prewar and wartime Japan in families

of the middle and upper income brackets. We shall not claim that our subjects necessarily behaved in the manner suggested, for the descrip­tion itself pertains to norms or principles and not to behavior. In a subse­quent section we shall provide a description and analysis of the behavior of our subjects with reference to these norms. This procedure implies the concept of a "cultural model": essentially a highly generalized description of principles, shared by a large number of people and maintained in the form of personal values. To some degree these principles or norms constitute guides or rules for behavior: some­times followed literally, sometimes not, but always available as a general­ized protocol for use by the individual in finding his way through social

relationships and in judging the acts of others. The first half of the model we shall construct pertains to the patterns of interpersonal relations in the two societies, Japan and America. We recognize that as representatives of the class of modern industrial nations, these two countries have cultures very similar in many respects. The Japanese are, in fact, often called the "Americans of the Orient," a phrase referring to their industrious orientation toward life and nature; their interest in mass-cultural pursuits like baseball; and their success with capitalist enterprise in a collectivist world. Similarities in all these areas are a fact— but it is equally apparent that some significant differences have existed in other aspects of social life in the two countries.

Among these differences the norms and patterns of interpersonal behavior are probably the greatest. Thus, while a Japanese and an American may share an interest in baseball which brings them closer together that either one might be to a member of some other nation, the two may differ so widely in their habits of behavior in social situations that communication between them may be seriously impeded. Studies of Japanese social norms have revealed the following general features: articulate codification of the norms; strong tendencies toward a face-to-face, or "primary group" type of intimacy; an emphasis upon hierarchical status positions; concern for the importance of status; elative permanence of status once established; and "behavioral reserve" or discipline.