The difference between Japanese culture and United States culture





Epistemological Perspective

The difference between Japanese culture and United States’ culture

In examining the difference between cultures, it is vital to note that there are always different perspectives that apply to interpretation of culture. Japanese culture is a robust culture that is viewable from certain guidelines that guide individuals’ behavior and perception of things. On the other hand, there are no strict guidelines that define American culture. Rather, it is the observable behavior and general attitudes that define American culture. The epistemological perspective in this research is constructivism. This suggests that social elements develop differently in every social context. These practices may seem natural, but they are products of the given social context (Easterby-Smith, Thorpe, & Jackson, 2004 p. 34). Individuals may consciously or sub-consciously create a social situation as depending on the social reality that is facing them.

There are notable reasons why this epistemological perspective applies to this research. To begin with, it is vital to examine the role of education in both cultures. Education is a critical context that does not just change, but transforms individuals’ perspectives to life. This also depends on various perspectives. To begin with, education can either destroy or reinforce a culture. The Japanese way of life, as an oriental culture, is highly guarded by those who practice the same. The Japanese have always strove to infuse their culture in their educational system. The loss of this culture is viewable as a loss to heritage and respective sense of identity (Lisiak, 2010 p. 67).

In terms of education, there are critical perspectives. This regards the aspects of formal and informal education. As the individual advances in education, one progresses into college. College is a different context that affects an individual from notable aspects. To begin with, college education is high likely to accord an individual rational thinking for fairly critiquing a cultural system. College education entails liberal views of life that creates a sharp distinction between an uneducated individual and an educated individual (Watten, 2010 p. 87). Besides, progressive societies possess a tendency of highly regarding foreign college education. The Japanese are a population that place strong emphasis on informal education and this type of education is highly employable towards cultural tutorage. This means that the comparison between children and college-educated adults will accord shard disparities because one context provides more cultural education than the other.

Another vital point for consideration pertains to the concepts of absolutism and liberty in respecting given cultures. Some cultures hold absolute attitudes towards their cultural teachings and culture. This suggests that an individual has to strictly observe the given culture as observed from the behavior of, especially, elderly individuals. In such a kind of culture, most individuals will project very similar attitudes and behavior pattern. In case an individual will strive to move against the socially prescribed normalcy, there will a greater cost of rejection. This cultural attitude is associable to most of Eastern cultures such as the Japanese way of life. Such a kind of society is highly communal and one’s decisions will be affected by the broader communal view of things. In turn, the concept of individualism faces constraint from strictly articulated norms that dictate a significant of the population to behave in a similar fashion.

On the other hand, other cultures promote liberty in the way of individuals’ lives. This suggests that a person will attain excessive freedom in aligning one’s behavior regardless of how other close individuals conduct themselves (Pass, 2004 p. 53). The American culture fits into this type of culture because it promotes considerable liberty in its people’s choices. There are significant flaws in examining such kind of culture, because each individual will present divergent attitudes from previously associated norm.

In addition, there is the concept of diversity within unified communities. In as much as individuals will strive to define a culture from a single perspective, there is significant diversity and communities that occurs within a single nation. For instance, the American society consists of whites, black-Americans, Africans, the Latinos, Asians and other groups. It is vital to separate the black Americans and the Africans because they possess divergent practices and attitudes. The black Americans have largely attained the perception of individuals who possess angst against the perceived dominance of the white community. In addition, the white community is largely split between the conservatives and liberals. This suggests that it may be difficult to decide what an authentic American culture because there is high likely to the bias of choosing a dominant culture as describing the whole American culture.

Besides, there is the concept of countercultural movements that protest against mainstream ideals and attitudes. The bias of leaving out countercultural movements, in describing cultures, provides notable bias in outcome of studies. In this regard, it would be crucial to examine the contexts that inform countercultural movements in both cultures.

In conclusion, there are notable arguments that inform the choice of Constructivism as an epistemological perspective. This is because there are different contexts that define the analysis of cultures. To begin with, there is the context of education that either reinforces or destroys a culture. In addition, there is the concept of absolutism and liberty that define the amount of subcultures that exist in a single society. Besides, there is the context of different communities that inform various cultural perspectives. Lastly, countercultural movements provide different contexts of examining cultures.


Easterby-Smith, M, Thorpe, R & Jackson, P, 2012, Management research. 4th ed., SAGE Publications, London.

Lisiak, A 2010, Urban cultures in (post) colonial Central Europe, Purdue University Press, New York.

Pass, S 2004, Parallel paths to constructivism: Jean Piaģet and Lev Vyģotsky, IAP, New York.

Watten, B 2010, The constructivist moment: from material text to cultural poetics, Wesleyan University Press, Middletown.

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