Рефераты. Cultural Values

in status that one finds the cues for reciprocal behavior. To put this in

sociological terms, there exists a very close tie between status and role:

the role behavior expected of one in a given status position is clearly

defined and there are relatively few permitted alternatives or variations

from the pattern (when alternatives are present, they, too, are often very

clearly defined). Thus the behavior of a person of a given status in a

social relationship, can constitute familiar and unmistakable cues for the

appropriate behavior of a person of another status.

Concern with status is evidenced further by the incorporation into the

Japanese language of a multitude of forms expressing varying degrees of

politeness, levels of formality and respect, and subservience or dominance.

This type of language dramatizes status differences between persons by the

use of such devices as honorific suffixes, special verb endings, and

differing pronouns. To mention only the most commonly used forms for

designating the second person singular, there are anata, omae, kimi,

kisama, and temai. The proper use of each of these forms depends upon the

relative status of the speaker and the particular situation in which the

conversation or interaction takes place. Status in language depends upon

age, sex, and class differences, as well as on the degree of intimacy and

the extent of formal obligation existing between those communicating.

relative permanence of status

Once status positions are clearly defined, the parties holding these

statuses are expected to occupy them for very long periods—often throughout

life. A superior, for example one's professor, retains strong symbolic

hierarchical precedence throughout the life of both parties, even when the

student has become a professional equal in productivity, rank, and pay.

Subtle changes in status of course occur, and we do not wish to make too

sweeping a generalization. However, as compared with the fluid patterns

typical of Western society, Japanese society-possesses considerably more

orderly and predictable allocations of status—or at least the expectations

of this.

behavioral reserve and discipline

A "tight" social organization based on concern with status and

hierarchy is by necessity one in which social behavior tends to be governed

more by norms, or public expectancies, and less by free or idiosyncratic-

response to a given situation. At the same time, a system of this kind

requires institutional outlets in the event that obligations, duties,

status relationships, and the like, for one reason or another, may be

unclear or not yet defined. The Japanese have utilized, for this purpose,

the concept of enryo, loosely translatable as “hesitance” or "reserve." The

development of this pattern in Japanese culture is of particular importance

for our problem here.

The original meaning of enryo pertained to the behavior of the

subordinate in hierarchical status relations. The subordinate was expected

to show compliant obsequiousness toward the superior: he should hold his

temper, check any aggressive response to frustration (and of course, bide

his time). This pattern of behavior may be manifested by Japanese when they

interact with persons of their own or any society whom they regard as

superior in status. Whenever the presumption is that a superior person

occupies the "alter" status, enryo is likely to be observed by "ego".

Now, as Japan entered the stage of industrialization, with its

expanded opportunities for individual enterprise and mobility (a process

still under way), social situations became more complicated, more

ambiguous, and more violative of the traditional rules and behavioral

prescriptions. Since at the same time the basic hierarchical, primary-group

character of the norms prevailed, there emerged strong needs for adjustive

behavior. Enryo became the escape-hatch: in the new ambiguity, behavioral

reserve and noncommitment became the frequent alternative, and the Japanese

manifested such withdrawn, unresponsive behavior in the event that a

particular interpersonal situation lacked clear designation of the statuses

of ego and alter. Much the same situation holds when the Japanese is

overseas. Here, too, his behavior is frequently characterized by enryo—

often concealing confusion and embarrassment over his ignorance of the

social rules of the foreign society. Thus the "shyness" or reserved

behavior often found in Japanese on the American campus can be due either

to the fact that the Japanese views Americans, or certain Americans, as

superior people; or to the fact that he is simply not sure how to behave in

American social situations, regardless of status. The rule goes, when

status is unclear, it is safest to retreat into enryo. This form of

response is most typical of persons socialized in prewar and wartime Japan;

the postwar generation, many of whom have grown up in the more liberal

atmosphere of the Occupation and after, are much more tolerant of



We may now view these normative patterns from a comparative cultural

perspective. A detailed description of the American norms will not be

required, since it may be presumed that the reader has sufficient

familiarity with them. We shall select those American rules of

interpersonal behavior that are "opposites" to the Japanese patterns just

described. In a later section we shall discuss cases of similarity.

There is among Americans a tendency toward an initial egalitarian

response oil the part of "ego": two persons are presumed to be equal unless

proven otherwise. (The Japanese norms contain an opposite premise: when

status is vague, inequality is expected.) In practice this egalitarian

principle in American interpersonal behavior leads to what the Japanese

might perceive as fluidity and unpredictability of behavior-in interaction,

and highly variable or at least less apparent concern for status. Things

like wealth, public versus private situations, and a host of other features

may all in the American case, influence the behavior of ego and alter in

ways which are not subject to predicate codification, Allowance is made

continually for subtle changes in roles of those interacting, with a strain

toward equalization if hierarchical differences appear. Thus, while in

social situations the Japanese may find it difficult to communicate unless

status differences are clear, the American, in view of his egalitarian

preference, may point to and actually experience status difference as a

source of interpersonal tension and difficulty in communication. Thus the

Japanese may see the free flow of communication as enhanced by clear status

understandings; the American may view it instead as requiring maximal

intimacy and freedom of expression.

Finally, reserve or discipline is in some cases much less apparent in

American social behavior. Initially, outward display of feeling is

encouraged, and' reserve may develop after status differences are

recognized. Once again the Japanese may proceed on an approximately

opposite principle: behavioral freedom and expressivity become a

potentiality after statuses are clearly differentiated—especially when

equality is achieved— but not before. Moreover, even when statuses are

clear to the Japanese participants in social relations, interaction often

continues to be hesitant and guarded. (Important institutionalized

exceptions to the general rule of avoidance are found in the frank behavior

tolerated in sake parties, behavior of the male guest and his geisha

partner, and a few others.)

In American interpersonal behavior the patterns of tact,

obsequiousness, and other forms of retiring behavior are seen continually,

but they are often much more situational and idiosyncratic. Americans lack

a concept with the generalized cultural meaning of enryo; reserve may be a

useful form of behavior for some people, but not others, or in some

situations; it may be associated with status differences, or it may not.

And when this reserve is associated with status positions (and in the

presence of hierarchical patterns generally), Americans are likely to

express attitudes of guilt or regret, or are likely to conceal the

existence of such patterns by verbally reaffirming egalitarian principles.

Moreover, some American normative attitudes frown on "manipulative"

tendencies; frankness, openness, and humility are valued highly, if not

always observed. Quotations from interviews with student subjects

(sojourners and returnees) may serve to indicate the Japanese perspective

on their own and the American patterns of interpersonal behavior.

Q.: What did you like about America that you didn't about Japan?

A.: Well, it's hard to give concrete examples, but mainly I was

satisfied with what you might call the smartness of life— the modernness of

things. And also the simplicity and frankness of life. You don't have to

worry about gimu-giri-on [obligations] over there ... In the United States

you have to visit relatives too, but such visits are more personal, more

real— more meaningful. Here in Japan they are for the sake of girt and

righteousness and all that stuff.

Q.: Could you define the term "Americanized" as it is used by

Japanese students?

A.: Well, to be Americanized means to be indifferent to social

position-indifferent to social formality — such as in formal greetings. It

concerns points about how one acts socially.

This is about human relations — it didn't surprise me but it did

impress me very much to find that relations with others are always on an

equal plane in the U.S. In Japan I automatically used polite language with

seniors so that this just seemed natural— and if I used polite words in

Japan I didn't necessarily feel that this was feudalistic— though some do.

At first in the U.S. when young

people, like high school students, talked to me as an equal, I felt

conflicted, or in the dormitory it surprised me to see a boy of 20 talk to

a man of 45 as an equal.

In Japan, my father and some of my superiors often told me that my

attitude toward superiors and seniors was too rude. Here, though, my

attitude doesn't seem rude— at least it doesn't appear as rude as I was

afraid it would. It is easier to get along with people in America, because

for one thing, Americans are not so class conscious and not so sensitive

about things like status. In Japan, my conduct to superiors seemed rude,

but the same behavior isn’t rude here. For instance here it is all right

simply to say "hello" to teachers, while in Japan I would be expected to

say “ohayo gozaimasu" [polite form of "good morning"] with a deep bow. In

Japan I did things like this only when I really respected somebody.

A main problem with me is the problem of enryo, or what you call

modesty. Even in life in America you have to be modest, but in a different

way from the so-called Japanese enryo. But the trouble is that I don't know

when and where we have to show enryo in American life. You never can be


The good thing about associating with Americans is that you can be

friendly in a light manner. Not so in Japan. Japanese are nosey in other

peoples' business—they rumor, gossip. It gives you a crowded feeling, after

you get back. Of course in Japan friendships are usually deep— it is good

to have a real friend to lean on— you know where you stand with your

friends; it is the opposite of light associations.

I have few American friends— those I have are usually Americans who

have been to Japan. I think the reason is that my character is somewhat


I don't try to speak first, but let the other fellow open up. Those

who have been to Japan know about this and speak first, and that makes it

easier to start an association.

From the information on contrasting cultural norm and cue systems

supplied thus far, it is possible to predict in a general way that

I when a Japanese interacts with an American, certain blockages to

communication and to the correct assessment of status behavior may occur.

Japanese are likely to confront Americans with unstated assumptions

concerning status differences, while the American may be inclined to accept

the Japanese at face value—that is, as a person, not a status. In the

resulting confusion it may be anticipated that the Japanese will retreat

into what he calls enryo, since this form of behavior involving attenuated

communication is appropriate toward persons of unclear or superior status.


For reasons usually found in the cultural background of the peoples

concerned, and in the historical relations of nations, there is a tendency

on the part of some to view other nations and peoples much as one would

view persons in a hierarchically oriented social group. Modernization,

which brings an increased need for knowledge of other peoples, has brought

as well a strong sense of competition—a desire to know where one stands, or

where one's nation stands relative to other nations in technological and

other areas of development. This desire to know one's position and the

tendency to view other nations hierarchically are probably found to some

degree in all modern societies, but may be exaggerated among those nations

that are in the middle ranks in the competitive race for modernization—and

particularly in those societies which have incorporated into their own

culture a strong hierarchical conception of status.

Thus, in societies with hierarchical patterns, there will occur

certain established techniques which are defined as appropriate for

governing behavior toward the nationals of countries judged either to be

higher or lower than that of the actor. On the other hand, for societies

with egalitarian ideals of social relations, while there may be a tendency

in the national popular ideology to view other nations hierarchically in

terms of power and progress, there will be no ready behavioral pattern to

follow toward individual members of these other societies. Ideally,

regardless of national origin, individuals will be considered as "human

beings," theoretically equal. Such theoretical equality is often violated

in practice, of course, but the violations are based not on systematic

hierarchical conceptions, but on transitory and situationally determined


The Japanese tendency to locate other nations on a hierarchical scale

is well known, and is observable even at the level of formal diplomatic

interchange. With respect to the Japanese attitude toward the United

States, the tendency toward a superordinate status percept is very strong

—although qualified and even reversed in certain contexts (American arts

and literature have been viewed as of questionable merit, for example) and

in certain historical periods. The historical basis for this generally high-

status percept may be found in America's historic role in the opening of

Japan; in the use of America as a model for much of Japan's modernization;

and in the participation and guidance of the United States in reform and

reconstruction during the Occupation. America, though not always a country

for which the Japanese feel great affection, has come to be a symbol of

many of Japan's aspirations, as well as a "tutor" whom the "pupil" must

eventually excel (or even conquer). Therefore, whatever the specific

affectual response, we have found that the Japanese student subjects often

perceived America as deserving of respect or at least respect-avoidance

(enryo), and were further inclined to project this image onto the American

individual. Evidence of these views available in our research data is

sampled at the end of this section, in the form of quotations from


Within tolerable limits of generally, America may be specified as a

society in which egalitarian interpersonal relationships are the ideal

pattern and, in tendency at least, the predominant pattern of behavior. But

in the United States, especially as the country emerges from political

isolation, there also has appeared a tendency to rate other nations in a

rough hierarchical order. Thus, some European nations in the spheres of

art, literature, and the manufacture of sports cars would be acclaimed by

many Americans as superior, and Americans are increasingly concerned about

their technological position vis-a-vis Russia. However, this tendency to

rate other nations hierarchically does not automatically translate itself

into code of behavior for Americans to follow toward the people of other

countries, as is the case for many Japanese. It may leave the social

situation a little confused for the Americans, but in the background of

thinking for many individual Americans is the notion that in social

relations people should be treated initially as equals.


When a person from a national society with hierarchical tendencies

encounters a person from a society with egalitarian tendencies, and

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