In an in-depth interview with a subject of Japanese origin (twenty years old, living in the U. S. for three years) the differences between Western and Far-East cultures became evident. Given the multicultural nature of the American nation, the subject has not encountered any direct discrimination or intolerance; however, she had problems with adjusting to cultural norms and everyday lifestyle of Americans. In college, the subject was respected for her academic achievements, honesty, and desire to help. Unfortunately, she was unable to integrate fully in the social life of her classmates.
She had problems making nodding acquaintance and starting small talks. At the same time, she truly treasured friendship and was spending long hours talking to her friends back in Japan on a messenger. This can be explained by the fact that Japanese society favors long-term orientation. Another problem with social integration was that the subject was not perceived as a party person. She was very anxious about breaking camp or traffic rules and preferred not to drink alcohol. Although the general attitude towards her was friendly, she could not develop a feeling of belonging.
As concerns private life, the subject has only dated persons from her own cultural background (i. e. preferably Japanese but Asian in general). This can be attributed to the subject’s views on the role of woman in the society: Japan is a country where traditional masculine dominance is still preserved. Therefore, the subject is looking for stability and protection from the side of her partners, and few young American mean are able to deliver this, in her opinion. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that persons from other cultures encounter difficulties in the process of integrating in the American society.
Courtney from Study Moose
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