Рефераты. Cultural Values

moreover when the country of the latter is generally "high" in the

estimation of the former, the idealized paradigm as shown in Figure 1 would

be approximated. In this diagram, X, the person from a country with

egalitarian views, behaves toward Y, the person from a hierarchically

oriented country, as if he occupied the same "level"; that is, in

equalitarian terms.

Figure 1.

But Y perceives X in a high-status position X1, "above" X's image of

his own status in the relationship. Since from Y's point of view X does not

behave as he "ought" to—he behaves as an equal rather than as a superior—Y

may be expected to feel confusion and disorientation. The confusion can be

resolved readily only by Y's assuming an equal status with X, or by X's

assuming the position X1 assigned to him by Y; i.e., either by closing or

by validating the "arc of status-cue confusion" shown by the arrow.

The reader will note that in effect we have already substituted

"average American" for X, and "average Japanese" for Y. We have found that

the diagram has been meaningful as an ideal model for the analysis of

interaction patterns between Japanese and Americans. In many cases the

conditions denoted by the diagram were actually found: Americans do behave

toward Japanese as equals, while the Japanese perceive the Americans as,

and in some cases expect them to behave like, superiors. In this ideal

situation since the Japanese is generally not able to respond as an equal,

and since withdrawal and distant respect are proper behavior both for

interaction with superiors and for interaction in situations where status

is ambiguous, he simply retires into enryo and communication is impaired.

This model does much to explain what many educators and foreign student

counsellors have come to feel as "typical" behavior of the shy, embarrassed

Japanese student on the American campus.

A revealing interchange on the matter of status imagery by some twelve

Japanese sojourner students was recorded during a two-hour group discussion

planned by the project but not attended by Americans. A translation of part

of this interchange follows.

M: As I see it, Japanese think of Americans as nobility. So, it is

hard to accept invitations because of the status difference.

K: I don't agree fully. Americans are not nobility to us, but they do

have a higher social status, so that it is hard to accept invitations. But

there is a "category" of persons who are known and placed as "foreign

students," and we can take advantage of this general foreign student status

and go to American homes and places.

N: During foreign student orientation we came and went as we desired

as "foreign students." But here, as an individual person, I have felt it

necessary to return invitations which are extended to me, and this I find

very difficult since I have no income and must return the invitation in a

manner suited to the status of the person.

M: Only if the invitation is from Americans who we can accept as

status equals to us should it be returned. . . . American table manners are

difficult to learn, and it is a problem similar to that encountered by

anyone who attempts to enter a higher social class in Japan. . . . Japanese

just can't stand on an equal footing with Americans. ... I wouldn't want an

American janitor to see my house in Japan. It is so miserable.

N: Why? That seems extreme.

M: Because I have social aspirations. I am a "climber." A Japanese

house in Tokyo is too dirty to invite an American to—for example, could I

invite him to use my poor bathroom? (General laughter)

At a later point in the discussion, the following emerged:

Mrs. N: I have watched American movies in Japan and in the United

States I have seen American men—and they all look like Robert Taylor. No

Japanese men look like Robert Taylor.

M: Again I say it is not a matter of beauty, but one of status.

Mrs. N: No, it is not status—not calculation of economic worth or

anything —but of beauty. Americans are more beautiful—they look nicer than


U: It is the same in other things. Americans look nice, for example,

during an oral examination in college. They look more attractive. Japanese

look down, crushed, ugly.

At a still later point, one of the discussants embarked on a long

monologue on the ramifications of the status problem. Part of this

monologue runs as follows:

A high-status Japanese man going out with American girls knows

something of what he must do—for example, he must be polite—but he does not

know the language so he can be no competition to American men, who will be

superior. In an emergency, for example, the Japanese male regresses to

Japanese behavior. Great Japanese professors are embarrassed for the first

few months in the United States because they can't even beat American

college juniors in sociable behavior or expression of ideas. They don't

know the language, they feel inferior. These people, forgetting that they

were unable "to defeat America, become highly antagonistic to the United

States. . . .They reason that Japan must be superior, not inferior to the

United States, because they are unable to master it. While in America, of

course, they may write home about their wonderful times and experiences —

to hide their real feelings. Actually while they are in the U.S. they feel

as though they were nothing.

Some quotations from two different interviews with another subject:

Before I came to the States, I expected that whatever I would do in

the U.S. would be observed by Americans and would become their source of

knowledge of Japan and the Japanese. So I thought I had to be careful. In

the dormitory, there is a Nisei boy from whom I ask advice about my manners

and clothing! I asked him to tell me any time when my body smells or my

clothing is dirty. I, as a Japanese, want to look nice to Americans.

In general, I think I do less talking than the others in my courses.

I'm always afraid that if I raise questions along the lines of Japanese

thinking about the subject—or simply from my own way of looking at

something—it might raise some question on the part of .the others. When

talking to a professor I can talk quite freely, but not in class. I am self-


These specimen quotations help to show that quite frequently the

perspective of many Japanese students toward America has some of the

qualities of the triangular model of interaction. Regardless of how our

Japanese subjects may have behaved, or learned to behave, they harbored, as

a picture in the back of their minds, an image of the Americans as people a

notch or two "above" Japan and the Japanese. Thus even while a Japanese may

"look down" on what he calls "American materialism," he may "in the back of

his mind" continue to "look up" to the United States and its people as a

whole, as a "generalized other." Our cultural model of interaction is thus

felt to be a very fundamental and highly generalized component of imagery,

as well as a very generalized way of describing the behavior of Japanese

and Americans in certain typical interactive situations.

Quite obviously the model, taken by itself, would be a very poor

instrument of prediction of the actual behavior of a particular Japanese

with Americans. It is apparent that there would have to be a considerable

knowledge of situational variability, amount of social learning, and many

other factors before all the major variants of Japanese social behavior in

America with respect to status could be understood. While there is no need

to seek complete predictability of individual behavior, some attempt may be

made to show how the social behavior of the Japanese subjects of research

did vary in actual social situations in America, and to see if these

variants followed a consistent pattern.

Here is a list of values that some visitors from other cultures have

noticed are common to many Americans:

Informality (being casual and down-to-earth) Self-reliance (not

looking to others to solve your problems) Efficiency (getting things done

quickly and on time) Social equality (treating everyone the same)

Assertiveness (saying what's on your mind) Optimism (believing that the

best will always happen)


Here is a list of comments a non-American might make about an


1. Americans are always in such a hurry to get things done!

2. Americans insist on treating everyone the same.

3. Americans always have to say what they're thinking!

4. Americans always want to change things.

5. Americans don't show very much respect for their elders.

6. Americans always think things are going to get better. They are

so optimistic!

7. Americans are so impatient!

Reasons some cultural anthropologists have offered to explain why

Americans may appear the way they do to people from other cultures.

1. Americans are always in such a hurry to get things done!

Americans often seem this way because of their tendency to use

achievements and accomplishments as a measure of a person's worth. They're

in a hurry to get things done because it's only then that they feel they

have proven their worth to other people. The more Americans accomplish, the

more they feel they are respected.

2. Americans insist on treating everyone the same.

Americans do this because of our cultural roots as a free nation

(e.g., "All men are created equal"). Americans have a deep cultural

instinct toward social equality and not having a class system. Ibis is a

reaction to the European class system as well as the feudal system that

existed in Europe. In cultures where inequality between social classes is

more accepted, American insistence on egalitarianism, or social equality,

may be annoying.

3. Americans always have to say what they're thinking!

Americans believe that being direct is the most efficient way to

communicate. It's important to "tell it like it is" and "speak your mind" —

to say what you mean and mean what you say. Being direct is often valued

over "beating around the bush." Americans value "assertiveness" and being

open and direct about one's droughts and feelings. Not all cultures have

this same value. In some cultures, the "normal" way to disagree or to say

no is to say nothing or be very indirect.

4. Americans always want to change things.

Americans mink things can always be better, and that progress is

inevitable. The United States is just a little more than 200 years old, and

American culture tends to be an optimistic one. Older cultures are more

skeptical because they have been around longer, have experienced more, and

have been in situations in which progress was not always made. In American

businesses, being open to change is a strong value, because things really

do change quickly, and it is necessary to adapt. Many Americans believe it

is "good" to initiate change and "bad" to resist it.

5. Americans don't show very much respect for their elders.

Americans believe people must earn by their actions whatever regard or

respect they are given. Merely attaining a certain age or holding a certain

position does not in itself signify achievement.

6. Americans always think things are going to get better. They are so


America, because of its resources and successes, has always had a

culture of optimism. Americans believe that they are in control of their

own destinies, rather than being victims of fate. Many Americans tend to

believe that "the American dream" can be achieved by anyone who is willing

to work hard enough. Many Americans believe mat the only obstacle to things

getting better is "not trying hard enough." Americans also believe that a

personal lack of determination or effort can be "fixed." Other cultures may

believe more in fate ("what will be will be"). When something bad happens,

some members of these cultures believe it was fated to happen, must be

accepted, and cannot be changed.

7. Americans are so impatient!

Americans believe that if things take a long time to do, they won't be

able to do enough of them. Many Americans believe that more and faster is

better. They do not like to stand in line and wait, and they originated

"fast food." Americans believe that "getting things done" (and doing them

quickly) may be more important than other things. Many other cultures

believe that slower is better and that building and maintaining

relationships takes priority over "getting things done" at the expense of


Americans are. . . (students of different countres)

What response would you give to these students? Do you consider their

observations biased? naive? limited? unfair? interesting? useless?

Student No.1-from Saudi Arabia: "I have learned three important things

about Americans since I came to the United States. First, I have learned

that all Americans are lively; they move and speak quickly, because time is

very important to them. Second, Americans are the same as the machine, they

do their work worthily but without any thinking, they just use the

instructions even if it is not completely right. Finally, they do not know

anything except their job, they do not know what is happened in their


Student No.2-from Venezuela: "I have observed that Americans are

polite, pragmatic, and organized. Wherever you are in the United States you

can hear words of friendship and cordiality like, "May I help you?",

"Excuse me", "Have a nice day.", "Thank you", and many others. Another

characteristic is their pragmatism. Along years, Americans have worked a

lot in order to create many devices which have made their life more

comfortable. These devices not only save time but they also make things

easier. Last, but never least, Americans are very organized. Perhaps, for

the same fact that they are very pragmatic people, they have developed

different ways of organization that assure them better services. "

Student No.3-from Japan: "I have been learning about Americans since I

came here last September. First, Americans don't care what other people do

or what happened. For example, when I come out of my room my roommate never

ask me where you are going or where I went. Second, Americans are friendly

and open-minded. When I went to my roommate's home, I was welcomed by her

family. Her mother said to me immediately: "Help yourself to everything in

my home," and I was surprised to hear it. I thought that the words

indicated friendliness. In Japan we never open refrigerators or use my

friend's things without permissions, because to serve is a virtue in my

country. Third, Americans like cards, sometimes I can find cards are

delivered to my American friends without special reasons. As far as I look

at Americans, they seem not to care what other people do as a whole, while

they think it's important to keep relation-ships between them and their

friends and them and their parents."



Mary Rathbun, 57, spent a restless night in the San Francisco jail

thinking about the "magical cookies" that she baked to add to her fixed

income. "The police wouldn't let me have one before I went to jail," she

said. "I might have slept better if they had." Mary started her home baking

business six months ago after a back injury forced her to quit her job as a

grave-yard shift waitress. "I was a waitress for 43 years. I was good at


Mary's dozen magical brownies, which were baked with a lot of

marijuana, were taken Wednesday night from her apartment, along with 20

pounds of pot and large amounts of sugar, margarine and flour. Mary, who

has no previous criminal record, admitted doing a great business out of her

home selling her "health food cookies." She said that she wouldn't give

away her special recipe.

Mary advertised her "original recipe brownies" for $20 a dozen. Her

lack of carefulness, especially taking orders over the phone from anyone

amazed and amused the police officers who arrested her. "Life is a gamble.

I played by the rules for 57 years. Then I gambled and lost."

True, Americans enjoy money and the things it can buy. But in defense

of the so-called materialistic American, one expert in American culture

points out, ". . . however eager we are to make money, we are just as eager

to give it away. Any world disaster finds Americans writing checks to

relieve distress. Since the war we have seen the spectacle of the United

States sending billions and billions of dollars' worth of goods to

countries less fortunate than we. Write some of it off, if you will, to a

desire to buy political sympathy; there is still an overplus of goodwill

strictly and uniquely American. Generosity and materialism run side by


The average American is also accused of being "rough around the edges"

-that is, of lacking sophistication in manners and understanding of things

cultural. He tries hard to polish those edges through education and travel.

But no matter how much he learns and sees, his interests are less with the

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