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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, August 06, 2014


Not quite yet a Visual Turn

Not quite yet a Visual Turn

Is cultural psychology at last taking a visual turn? Yes, and at the same time, not quite. There is the 'theory of Dov Cohen' which integrated the notion of the visual other into the main "collectivist" interpretation of Japanese culture based upon, imho, a misunderstanding of the consequences of a generalised other.

The highly interesting and thorough research of Uskul and Kikutani (2014) appears to follow this Co-hen-ian ;-; trend demonstrating that taking a third person perspective on ones self is related to public self awarenes, motivating actions that are social but not those that are private.

And yet, mirrors -- the easiest way of promoting a third person perspective on self -- are found to promote private self awareness, and the tendency to reject social expectations. Mirrors provide another type of generalised other, and another type of individuality not heightened collectivism.

Who is right? This research (Uskul & Kikutani, 2014) presents hard data, demonstrating the connection between third person perspectives and motivation to conform to social expecations.

Perhaps the problem is the "person." In my opinion, the Japanese do not have a third person perspective, but see themselves from eye of their god (generalised other, super ego, Other, (m)other, superadressee, impartial spectator). The generalised, impartial, super, unconscious, de-personalised nature of the Other (verbal or visual) is the key to making a "god", and commcomitant (verbal or visual) self.

But basically I am all washed up. Kind professor Steven Heine already gave me some work. Perhaps, in the words of the late great Satoshi Kon, when I am starving I can ask for some more work, but by then they may ask "he was a Co(-author w)hen?"


写真お取り下げご希望でありましたら、ご連絡ください。Please contact me if you would like me to remove your photos, taken from your homepages via the comments or email link at nihonbunka.com

Uskul, A. K., & Kikutani, M. (2014). Concerns about losing face moderate the effect of visual perspective on health-related intentions and behaviors. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. works.bepress.com/ayse_uskul/31

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