Japan is a very homogenous society made up of about 98% ethnic Japanese. They tend to put a lot of emphasis on family and communities, and value the group more than the individual (Aliasis, 2013). The social hierarchy important and members of the society are expected to conform. One way is showing respect for one’s elders, for example the oldest member of a group is served first and their drinks are poured for them (AngloINFO, 2014). This mentality is common in the business world as well. Promotions are usually based on seniority and people often work at one company their entire lives. This way of life brings satisfaction and pride to the people (Aliasis, 2013). When greeting others it is customary to bow, although the Japanese are familiar with our ways and would expect us to want to shake hands rather than bow (Bazzel, 2013; Angloinfo, 2014). Also, being too direct about what one is really thinking is not socially acceptable. The Japanese use subtle language and rely heavily on non-verbal forms of communication (Aliasis, 2013).
In contrast, the United States is a very heterogeneous society known for valuing freedom and individuality. It is the most ethnically diverse country in the world and is often referred to as the “melting pot” (Zimmerman, 2013). Americans try to avoid a miscommunication by being very clear and direct about what they are trying to say (Western Washington University, 2011). In typical day to day social interactions, people in the U.S. tend to...
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...p 25 Things In Japan Most Likely To Blow Foreigners’ Minds | RocketNews24. Retrieved February 9, 2014, from
Fisher, M. (2012, July 23). A Land Without Guns: How Japan Has Virtually Eliminated Shooting Deaths - Max Fisher - The Atlantic. Retrieved February 9, 2014, from http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/07/a-land-without-guns-how-japan-has-virtually-eliminated-shooting-deaths/260189/
Western Washington University (2011). US / Japan culture comparison. Retrieved February 9, 2014, from www.wwu.edu/auap/english/gettinginvolved/CultureComparison.shtml
Zimmermann, K. A. (2013, April 22). American Culture: Traditions and Customs of the United States | LiveScience. Retrieved February 9, 2014, from
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