We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Japanese and African American Culture Essay Sample

The whole doc is available only for registered users OPEN DOC
  • Pages:
  • Word count: 879
  • Category: culture

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

Japanese and African American Culture Essay Sample

Japanese cultures use an indirect method when communicating while African Americans use a more direct form of dialect. The Japanese are known to be more passive leaving their message to be interpreted. Meanwhile, African Americans tend to be somewhat more aggressive and mean exactly what they are saying when communicating. In this essay we will discuss and explore the differences in these two cultures with specifics on the appropriateness of eye contact. What is considered as respect to one culture can easily be misinterpreted as disrespect to another. Often time’s ethnocentrism can lead to controversy amongst different cultural backgrounds. The feelings of what is the norm in one culture can really be looked upon as strange, weird, unusual or even wrong to some. Having a thorough knowledge and understanding of different practices can alleviate feelings of disrespect and superiority.

Japanese businessmen avoiding eye contact during a meeting is apparently a cultural acceptance in Japan. It is very normal not to look at an individual in the eyes. It’s simply not habitual to make direct eye contact in their culture. “In fact, for some people, looking directly in the eyes could be considered rude and it could make them feel uncomfortable. And depending on the context of the relationship, it may demonstrate a challenge to authority or even anger” (ctuonline, 2013). If Japanese are scolded or criticized the individual will look down and not make any eye contact. Therefore, during a business meeting, because of social habit, awkwardness and appreciation the Japanese businessmen avoid making any eye contact.

My process of adjusting or expanding my own perspective to better understand this behavior of avoiding eye contact is very simple. Due to already being aware of this practice and experienced it firsthand makes this practice easily respectable for me. I have had neighbors as well as coworkers from the Japanese ethnicity who wouldn’t make eye contact when greeting or interacting with others. My neighbors would smile, make very brief eye contact when we conversed, but never would make direct eye contact. On the other hand, their two daughters who attend high school with my son would engage more in making eye contact during conversation. This is just a sign of respect mainly in their culture and a tradition. “Japan is a highly structured and traditional society and great importance is placed on loyalty, politeness, respect, courtesy…” (Ediplomat, 2013).

In my culture when meeting someone or interacting with anyone regardless of whether it is formal or informal or even when conducting business or pleasure, it is customary to make and maintain direct eye contact as much as possible which is totally different from the Japanese culture. This is considered as being respectful in my culture because when making eye contact with an individual when conversing, it is a sign of respect because you are acknowledging that individuals presence as well as acknowledging what the person is saying. To not make eye contact in my culture is considered as rude and disrespectful because it gives off the impression that you are not sincere or open minded to anything that the individual is saying. It also can come across as you not being interested in what the other person is saying and not being honest or truthful.

Society has their own label of stereotypes within the African American culture which I strongly disagree with to an extent on some things simply due to the fact that those stereotypes are not portrayed or mimicked in my culture. According to African American Culture (2013), “The black man doesn’t make eye contact with those in authority and the children are raised to not look elders in the eye when being spoken to.” That may have been true in the past but today, just as I was raised, I instruct my kids to look people in the eye when communicating because not only is it respectful but it shows self-confidence and high self-esteem as well as not being intimidated by the person you are conversing with.

Apparently the driving forces that are at play with these practices are tradition and what the norm is in the Japanese and African American culture. The Japanese are more this way regarding eye contact based upon social statuses. The hierarchy of social classes is adhered to more in their culture whereas in the African American culture, we tend to treat all with equal respect and expect the same in return regardless of status in society. As I stated in an earlier post, the way we act and behave is essential to how we succeed in life and interact with family, friends, and co-workers and people in general in society. We have to know as well as learn about the differences in individuals in order to interact with one another in a positive and productive manner. Based upon moral, ethical, cultural, values and religious beliefs, we have to understand that these aspects determine how we perceive certain situations in life as well as how we respond, react and deal with one another in society.


African American Culture. (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://www.californiacollegeofpharmacy.org

Japan- Cultural Etiquette (2013). Retrieved from: http://www.ediplomat.com

Missionary and Transition of Modern Chinese Customs [PowerPoint presentation].

Retrieved from http://campus.ctuonline.edu/Pages/sendfile.aspx?

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Indian Culture in Past and Present

What does it mean to be a modern Native American? How does their historical culture influence today’s society? Sherman Alexie does an outstanding job of influencing his characters with culture and traditions. He also outlines the societal problems experienced on the Spokane Indian Reservation and the struggle between the individual Native American modern lifestyle and the Native American historic culture. In the story “This Is...

Caribbean Political Thought

“Where is our philosophy?” a question repeatedly asked by Tim Hector, an Antiguan journalist. From the early historical beginnings in the late 15th century, there has been uncertainty in regards to both the geographical and cultural aspect of the Caribbean region. G.K. Lewis (1983) documents that even after the geographical puzzle was fixed, a cultural puzzle continued. It is clear that the question given pertains...

The culture life in US and Viet...

It is obvious that each country will have a different culture life. America is a densely populated and ethnically diverse country, so it is essential to equip yourself with the cultural, social and human knowledge of your country. As far as I understand have a lot of differences in culture life such as celebration, greeting, eating manners, housing between Americans and Vietnamese people. And this...

Hospitality: History, Politics and Culture

“Hospitality”, by the virtue of the term itself has a broad domain of expanse. In a generalized framework, the term refers to the friendly and warm reception and entertainment of the guests by the hosts. The concept, having its origin from the Latin word “Hospitalitem”, has been prevailing in the global scenario through ages. Over the years, the practice of hospitality has experienced considerable dynamics...

Transmission of culture definition

1 Transmission of culture - Toula was born into a Greek community so that is all that she's know and now Ian has to learn acculturation ( learn rules and norms of a different culture). Toula family is definitely big, loud and love to dance. While Ians is family is just the opposite quiet, calm and collective. Though they both come from a different culture...

Get Access To The Full Essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access

Become a member

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Couldn't Find What You Looking For?

Get access to our huge knowledge base which is continuously updated

Next Update Will Be About:
14 : 59 : 59
Become a Member