Cultural Differences

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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby James » Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:30 am

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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby jvcc » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:33 pm

I was wondering if anyone here is informed about Japanese culture, because I have a question regarding the little boxes with people's reactions that they put in the upper corner of the screen during many of the Japanese tv shows that I've seen. I read a study a while back, which unfortunately I cannot now find, which stated that when "Western" and "Eastern" individuals were shown a picture of a person standing in a group and asked to identify how that person was feeling, people from Western culture looked at the person in question, while individuals from Eastern culture looked at the people in the background as well. So I was wondering if those look reaction boxes (I don't know what the official term for them is, if there is one) are indicative of a culture that places emphasis on the importance of observing others in order to evaluate information. I can say for certain that Western culture, or at least American culture, values independence.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby Binkatron5000 » Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:03 pm

jvcc wrote:I was wondering if anyone here is informed about Japanese culture, because I have a question regarding the little boxes with people's reactions that they put in the upper corner of the screen during many of the Japanese tv shows that I've seen. I read a study a while back, which unfortunately I cannot now find, which stated that when "Western" and "Eastern" individuals were shown a picture of a person standing in a group and asked to identify how that person was feeling, people from Western culture looked at the person in question, while individuals from Eastern culture looked at the people in the background as well. So I was wondering if those look reaction boxes (I don't know what the official term for them is, if there is one) are indicative of a culture that places emphasis on the importance of observing others in order to evaluate information. I can say for certain that Western culture, or at least American culture, values independence.


I don't know much about Japanese culture per se, but I do know that there are differences in how people from East Asian cultures fixate on a scene as compared to North Americans.

In a vein along what you were observing, Easterners tend to focus more on the context, and Westerners are faster to focus on an individual focal object. Here's a link to a study that talks about this in terms of Chinese culture

And, even more relevant, here's a PDF of another study that examined eye gaze of Japanese vs Americans when determining facial expressions in others. You'll find a lot of good coverage of this topic in the introduction!!!


EDIT: so yes, I would wager that those looky-boxy-thingies most definitely arise out of Japan's cultural importance of taking in context :)
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby jvcc » Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:16 pm

Binkatron5000 wrote:
jvcc wrote:I was wondering if anyone here is informed about Japanese culture, because I have a question regarding the little boxes with people's reactions that they put in the upper corner of the screen during many of the Japanese tv shows that I've seen. I read a study a while back, which unfortunately I cannot now find, which stated that when "Western" and "Eastern" individuals were shown a picture of a person standing in a group and asked to identify how that person was feeling, people from Western culture looked at the person in question, while individuals from Eastern culture looked at the people in the background as well. So I was wondering if those look reaction boxes (I don't know what the official term for them is, if there is one) are indicative of a culture that places emphasis on the importance of observing others in order to evaluate information. I can say for certain that Western culture, or at least American culture, values independence.


I don't know much about Japanese culture per se, but I do know that there are differences in how people from East Asian cultures fixate on a scene as compared to North Americans.

In a vein along what you were observing, Easterners tend to focus more on the context, and Westerners are faster to focus on an individual focal object. Here's a link to a study that talks about this in terms of Chinese culture

And, even more relevant, here's a PDF of another study that examined eye gaze of Japanese vs Americans when determining facial expressions in others. You'll find a lot of good coverage of this topic in the introduction!!!


EDIT: so yes, I would wager that those looky-boxy-thingies most definitely arise out of Japan's cultural importance of taking in context :)

Whoa, that was perfect, Bink! You're like a research-finding machine. That second study is most definitely the basis for the article I read.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby Nyperold » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:27 pm

I don't know about live action, but one thing that happens in anime (at least in my limited experience*) is that the background changes fairly dramatically to reflect dramatic emotions. So you've got things like the dark blue background with the descending vertical squiggly black lines for some emotional states, and so on.

*Azumanga Daioh, Hidamari Sketch, and Lucky Star
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby Binkatron5000 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:19 pm

jvcc wrote:Whoa, that was perfect, Bink! You're like a research-finding machine.

0100000101000110010001100100100101010010010011010100000101010100010010010101011001000101
(It's what I do all day anyways :P)

Nyperold wrote:I don't know about live action, but one thing that happens in anime (at least in my limited experience*) is that the background changes fairly dramatically to reflect dramatic emotions. So you've got things like the dark blue background with the descending vertical squiggly black lines for some emotional states, and so on.

*Azumanga Daioh, Hidamari Sketch, and Lucky Star


Good point! I find this sort of thing interesting. It is tangentially related to my area of research, and by tangentially I mean not really at all, unless you think of it very very vaguely like "individual differences in emotion ability" and disregard brains and all that other stuff.

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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby jvcc » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:27 pm

1. DISREGARD BRAINS
2. ???
3. ACQUIRE CURRENCY
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby James » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:52 am

I have nothing to add, but that is pretty interesting.

It does make me think about how such fundamental differences arise (something I often ponder regarding language). Will we ever again have the kind of relative cultural isolation that allows for such fascinating idiosyncrasies to develop, or will the chart of human history end up as one big divergence followed by one big convergence? Not that I don't appreciate the benefits of the convergence. I just wonder whether we've turned a corner of some sort.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby jvcc » Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:22 am

QUESTION FOR THE BRITISH: Does anyone have a decided opinion on Will Self the author? I've seen him on Have I Got News for You a few times and don't know what to think about him. I'm wondering if his books are good and if his smugness belies genuine intellect or just assholery, that sort of thing; how he's regarded.

I didn't mean to ask specifically about him as I often wonder about new faces that wander onto the panel show circuit, but I can't think of any others now. Oh, wait! yes, I can. Brian Blessed and Bruce Forsyth. They're both very over the top and I can't tell if it's because they've earned the right to be through having successful and noteworthy careers or something else.

More details as they occur to me.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby James » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:47 am

I'm also in the not-too-sure-what-to-make-of-Will-Self camp. He's certainly an intelligent guy, but I'm not sure whether he's intelligent enough to warrant his dismissive and sometimes arrogant demeanour. Initially I found the certainty of his proclamations intimidating, then I heard a review of a book of his that undermined that somewhat, and now all I'm really decided on is my ignorance. The problem is that regardless of how clever he actually is, he's certainly much cleverer than me, so it's difficult to properly judge him. I haven't read any of his books, of course.

Brian Blessed and Bruce Forsyth, on the other hand, are generally well-liked personalities who have been around forever, and whose boisterous and flamboyant behaviour is consistent with their respective histories in theatre and show business. I don't have any strong feelings regarding Forsyth, but there is something quite comforting about Blessed's booming voice and magnificent beard.
Last edited by James on Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby jvcc » Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:51 pm

I initially read your first sentence as "I am also camp."

I liked Blessed when he hosted Have I Got News for You (or HIGNFY, for the sake of convenience), but found Forsyth's hosting stint unmemorable.

Who else is there? Oh, Rolf Harris. I know he's Australian, but he seems to be famous in Britain. All I really know of him is this.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby James » Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:03 pm

jvcc wrote:Have I Got News for You (or HIGNFY, for the sake of convenience)

The irony.

For me, Rolf Harris is mainly this and this (which had so much sax in the theme tune), and a little bit for this.

And you're right: although Australian by birth, he's lived in England for most of his life. I think I read somewhere that he's a British citizen, but I didn't immediately see anything about that on his Wikipedia page just now, so perhaps I'm inventing memories.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby MysticalDescent » Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:19 pm

What James said, except I don't really know anything about Will Self. Bruce Forsyth is, I think, a bit before my time for me to really 'get' him as a host, but he gets brownie points for appearing in Bedknobs and Broomsticks. I think he really made his name by hosting a myriad of TV gameshows, when such things were apparently all the rage. Fun fact: he was one of the very few acts to be booed off the stage at Jollies club in Stoke.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby chrismachine » Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:35 pm

MysticalDescent wrote:Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Awesome
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby James » Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:40 pm

MysticalDescent wrote:Bruce Forsyth is, I think, a bit before my time for me to really 'get' him as a host, but he gets brownie points for appearing in Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

Wait, what? I guess I need to see that film again.

Anyway, I'd say he's mainly famous for his catchphrase.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby jvcc » Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:43 pm

He plays the character Swinburne, apparently; not Algernon Charles, just some general, thuggish Swinburne.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby James » Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:59 pm

Funny, I just spent the last fifteen minutes looking through the same series of YouTube videos for some footage to find pretty much the same bit.

It's been so long since I've seen that film. All I really remember is the football match and the invasion bit at the end.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby jvcc » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:02 pm

I remember that I loved it. Let's see, what else? Two children meet Angela Lansbury; she makes the bed fly; some guy goes with them; they have an important book; there's a song about Portobello Road, the street where the riches of ages are sold; they enter Disney's Robin Hood and play soccer/football; they go to a castle and the suits of armor come to life; then everything ends happily ever after.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby chrismachine » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:43 am

Also, lots of magic knob use. Anyway I love that film. Showed it to my students on the way to a winter outdoor ed camp last year and most had never even heard of it before.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby ntw3001 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:55 am

jvcc wrote:I remember that I loved it. Let's see, what else? Two children meet Angela Lansbury; she makes the bed fly; some guy goes with them; they have an important book; there's a song about Portobello Road, the street where the riches of ages are sold; they enter Disney's Robin Hood and play soccer/football; they go to a castle and the suits of armor come to life; then everything ends happily ever after.


You got me beat. My memories are 'flying bed, PORTOBELLO ROOOOAD, man from Mary Poppins'.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby James » Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:26 am

jvcc wrote:I remember that I loved it. Let's see, what else? Two children meet Angela Lansbury; she makes the bed fly; some guy goes with them; they have an important book; there's a song about Portobello Road, the street where the riches of ages are sold; they enter Disney's Robin Hood and play soccer/football; they go to a castle and the suits of armor come to life; then everything ends happily ever after.

That's not fair. You were a child much more recently than me. Also, my memory is terrible.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby jvcc » Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:47 am

James wrote:
jvcc wrote:I remember that I loved it. Let's see, what else? Two children meet Angela Lansbury; she makes the bed fly; some guy goes with them; they have an important book; there's a song about Portobello Road, the street where the riches of ages are sold; they enter Disney's Robin Hood and play soccer/football; they go to a castle and the suits of armor come to life; then everything ends happily ever after.

That's not fair. You were a child much more recently than me. Also, my memory is terrible.

I don't think of you as being that much older than me. But I will admit that I do remember movies and other trivial things really well.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby James » Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:02 pm

Do not be fooled by youthful exuberance and boyish good looks: I'm rapidly approaching thirty, and therefore no longer of any use to the species. Granted, I live the life of a worthless student, but, despite my fiercest wishes, doing so isn't actually postponing my eventual death at all.

JEEZ GUYS, KEEP IT LIGHT.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby MysticalDescent » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:47 pm

Let me think.

Evacuee kids waiting to be picked up, woman pops up in motorbike that fires yellow smoke out the back of it, children go back to her house in the country and talk in comical 'Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins' accents, children see woman trying to fly broom one night, children confront woman over broom use, magic course investigated further, quest for completed locomotive spell begins, all go to find the man who was sending off the information for the magic course, Portobello Road, some magic, a bit of explanation, Bruce Forsyth, somebody turns into a rabbit, cartoon island, football match, lion/king tricked out of his medal, substitutiary (I swear that's what they said in the song) locomotion spell is now usable, Nazis pop up, suits of armour from the castle reanimated, Nazis run away, man joins the army.

I love that film.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby jvcc » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:52 pm

Nazis! I'd forgotten about the Nazis.
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