Publication Date

2004

Abstract

For this project I sought to answer the question: How is the Japanese social code of gaman or perseverance demonstrated in an educational setting? A sub-question is: What might a foreigner/outsider see as contradictions to gaman behavior? I conducted a literature review, observation and semi-structured oral interviews. My research was supported by Hofstede's Individualism/Collectivism tenets from his paradigm for empirically determining how cultures differ. My data analysis method is an ethnography, which resulted in cultural description that contributed to my deeper understanding of the various phenomena included in this paper. I conclude that Japanese perseverance in an educational setting is directed not at academics and/or productivity, but toward presenting oneself as the ideal Japanese citizen. Practical applicability of the contents of this paper could be to those individuals who will live and /or work in Japan in the future.

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