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Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


The Invasion of Customized Goods Vs Masaki Yukism

The Invasion of Customized Goods Vs Masaki Yukism by timtak

Now they are starting to sell "Yamaguchi University" customized goods in the Yamaguchi University shop, perhaps as a result of Westernisation (after all the goods are generally labelled in English script). There are, fortunately, no university sweatshirts or university T-shirts. Japanese students would think it too naff and embarrassing to wear them.

Social and Cultural Psychologist Masaki Yuki, after a spell at Professor Marilynn Brewer 's (presumably Ohio State) university in the US was amazed at the extent to which Americans are proud of and merge with their groups, at least to the extent to which US university students wear university sweat shirts bearing the name of their own institution, and come the day of the university American football game, half the campus would come to the match dressed in the same, university colours, chanting the team name.

As professor Brewer argues, Americans join groups to gain a desirable social identity, as a member of a of a presumed elite with which they merge. Badges and uniforms of membership that enhance the group-individual mind meld, are thus desirable, as are negative evaluations of rival groups. "We are good and/because they are baaad."

The Japanese on the other hand are far more economic in their group membership, preferring to join groups in which they can cooperate to form a unity greater than the sum of its parts. The important thing is the network of exchange relationships between the individuals who physically enhance each other's welling through the synthesis of different skills and aptitudes. Group member uniformity is thus avoided and Japanese group members do not see other groups as rivals, paying little attention to them at all.

While there is a bit of Westernisation going on at my university, and there is a mini invasion of the self-snatching, clone-ware, customised goods, Yuki's cultural psychological theory is probably my favourite (after my own) since it has something qualitative to say about the Japanese side of the cultural equation. In most of the other great cultural theories, Japan is typified by a lack or absence: lack of a internal moral standard (Benedict), lack of individuality (Hofestede), lack of illusion of individuality (Markus and Kitayama), lack of a need for positive self-regard (Heine), lack of linguistic thought (Kim), lack of focus (Masuda and Nisbett).

This post in video: the film of the burogu. Bibliography
Yuki, M. (2003). Intergroup comparison versus intragroup relationships: A cross-cultural examination of social identity theory in North American and East Asian cultural contexts. Social Psychology Quarterly, 166–183. lynx.let.hokudai.ac.jp/COE21/workingpaper/no04abstract.pdf

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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.