Date of Defense
Dr. Arthur Helwig
Dr. Robert Smith
From our American perspective, Japanese culture is difficult to understand. We are puzzled by the apparent inconsistencies or contradictions in behavior exhibited by the Japanese. I believe that learning about the style of communication of a culture is a good way to better understand the culture as a whole. Edward Hall says that "Culture is communication" (Silent 97). Although he is speaking of the phonetics of language, "Talking is a highly selective process because of the way in which culture works. No culture has devised a means for talking without highlighting some things at the expense of some other things."(97-98), it would seem that the nonverbal code of behavior would similarly reflect the values of the culture. Another theory, "We cannot not communicate" (Watzlawick) leads me further to believe that studying communication in Japanese culture should be a good way to gain a deeper insight into that culture.
Hallquist, Helen, "Nonverbal Communication in Japanese Culture" (1991). Honors Theses. 1438.
Honors Thesis-Campus Only