Mini Ethnography of Communication
Florence Kluckhohn and Fred Strodtbeck’s Taxonomy
CommSt 007 TTH 9:30
Professor Vicki Marie
The Japanese American culture may at times be perceived as symbolic figures such as warriors, misidentified as Asians, or stereotyped as book smart. People are often times blinded by that and miss out on the unique qualities Japanese American culture truly offers. I chose this culture, because it seized a part of me that was fascinated with the knowledge I previously had of their traditions. In this study, I will center my findings based on a taxonomy created by Florence Kluckhon and Fred Strodtbeck. They explain both the cultural and individual-level-differences in four different conclusions: Activity, Social Relations, Self, World, and Time Orientations (qtd in Lustig and Koester). To grasp a deeper understanding on this culture can result in attaining a new outlook on peers around you.
Japanese Americans are “go getters” who strive for success no matter what is put before them. They over come challenges through desire, but their technique plays a key role. As Kitagawa explains, “Technique is everything, if your not using that then your probably wasting time to redo what needed to be done.” They work toward greatness and are firm believers that nothing is impossible. The idea that if you work hard enough you can be what you want is something that is embedded in their minds at a young age and carried through out generations (Kitagawa).
Formality and respect are key elements in their life. Everyone is considered equal and could easily take on any role given to them within their respective community. With that being said, it gives them an opportunity to be involved as a member of groups. Having strong group identification with the tight circle of groups comes natural. “It’s important for us to maintain strong relationships within our groups. We rely on each other.” (Apcar)
Generations of Japanese Americans have been thought to be self reliant, but also dependent to a certain extent. They form their own identities to where they are comfortable with themselves, but believe they can change their ways at any given moment. Above all, the advice given by elders carries the greatest deal of value in this culture. Japanese Americans have a “strong respect for elders and authority” (qtd in Japanese Americans). I also discovered that they don’t spend their time trying to invent things. They rather perfect an idea that’s already been done. “We are perfectionists, look at the first American Car, Ford. Toyota and Honda are now in the leading market,” quoted Kishi.
Majorities of Japanese Americans share the belief that nature is its own world and that we learn to adapt to it with time. The prevention of disease and sickness is possible to a certain degree. For the most part, they take care of themselves extremely well and have a low amount of birth defects. When health does become an issue they seek help from family and friends before any place else. They prefer to only seek professional attention as a last resort (qtd in Japanese Americans).
Appropriate timing is how Japanese Americans prefer to balance their time. They are extremely time orientated