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A Comparison of Japan and the Culture of the United States - Research Paper Example

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Culture is a vital structure through which communication, motivation, and ambition develops towards contributing successfully to the community.The way in which education and family are approached forms the nature of belief and meaning for an individual…
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A Comparison of Japan and the Culture of the United States
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Download file to see previous pages Work and business practices that are culturally relevant provide for the development of economic success for a nation. In comparing the Japanese culture with the American culture, it is clear that the Japanese exist in a collective state where as Americans not only are individualistic but aspire towards individualism as a respected state. In comparing the cultures of Japan and the United States, it is clear that the differences provide for very different outcomes in relationship to economy and success. Japan Education and Family The central government is involved in the success of their school systems. School systems are the same throughout the nation with moves from one region to another meaning that a child will not be in a different state of educational advancement in one place compared to another. Equity is achieved through the centralized control of the education system. Communities are not responsible for defining their own education system, but rather there is a high quality of standardization that exists though out the country (Berger, 2009). Children spend longer days, longer weeks which include Saturdays, and a longer period of the year in school. School systems are only shut down for one month out of the year. Three fourths of the children attend supplemental public school which is called juko (Berger, 2009). Japanese children routinely score higher on science and mathematics tests. One criticism, however, is that so much time is spent on rote learning that concept of meta-cognitive skills are not as well developed. Learning discipline through memorization is emphasized while thinking skills are not fully developed to the capacity that could be achieved. In 2002, the Japanese government made changes in order to create more relaxed learning in order to maximize controlled curriculum at 30% with the rest of the curriculum being devoted to teaching children how to think (Berger, 2009). Family life in Japan, therefore, is based upon the importance of the group dynamic. Georges (2009) shows that the ideal family relationship is one in which “a feeling of oneness” exists to the point that the members of the family understand one another without having to discuss anything. Contrasting to American ideas of teenage life, when polled on how much teenagers believed that their family understood them, Japanese teens indicated that their mother understood them by 72%, their father by 65%, and their siblings by 63%, while believing by 77% that they understood the other members of their families. It is possible that Japanese generally gain self-esteem by their membership in their family, rather than through direct self- enhancement (Georges, 2009). The family is structured with the male as the head of the family, but the mother taking responsibility for the emotional security and welfare of the family. She takes the responsibility of the children, holding them to her in a method through which she prepares them for the external society through creating meaning in the connection to the family group. Children are responsible to each member of the family and it is through the shame of failure that their success is born. They owe their success not to themselves, but towards the continuation of the family through their efforts. Work and Business Work and business are a continuation of the nature of the Japanese culture through which the needs of the collective are more important than the needs of the individual. A class system has evolved in which a family is ranked socially by the reputation of the company for which he works. The work culture ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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