1887
Volume 20, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238

Abstract

According to Hofstede’s (2003) often quoted survey, Japanese and Thai cultures rank high on the collectivist scale and both cultures attach the greatest importance to group harmony. Accordingly, we should see similar characteristics in Japanese and Thai speakers during discussions within their respective social groups. However, this is not the case. This paper examines social talk during the task-oriented interaction of Japanese and Thai speakers. The analysis focuses on how the speakers of Japanese and Thai present themselves and construct rapport in casual group talk. Using the concept of consciousness deployed in ‘idea units’ (Chafe 1980, 1994) and some semantic considerations, I identify three major differences in rapport construction between Japanese and Thai speakers. First, Japanese participants prefer to build common ground through discussion of communal topics and through dealing with the comprehensiveness and the orderliness of the situation, whereas Thai participants incline toward Individual-oriented topics and independent styles of talk. Second, the Japanese show a preference for using softening devices and conventionalized expressions in group discussion while the Thais tend to use intensifiers and spontaneous expressions to indicate involvement and create a friendly and fun atmosphere. Third, the Japanese like to demonstrate the minimization of self and the relevancy between the self and the collective whereas the Thais value the capitalization of the self and the strengthening of personal relationships. Japanese and Thai communicative styles can be viewed as reflection of the different way the two cultures conceptualize the notion of rapport and the self. With regard to the component of rapport management (Spencer-Oatey 2000), the Japanese place more emphasis on the observation of sociality rights, while the Thais incline toward the management of face. This suggests that rapport construction in collectivist cultures may possess totally different characters.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/prag.20.3.01aok
2010-01-01
2019-10-23
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Bales, Robert F
    (1976) Interaction process analysis: A method for the study of small groups. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Barnlund, Dean C
    (1975) Public and private self in Japan and the United States. Tokyo: Simul Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Benedict, Ruth
    (1943) Thai culture and behavior: An unpublished war-time study dated September, 1943. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Brosnahan, Leger
    (1990) Japanese and English gesture: Constructive nonverbal communication. Tokyo: Taishūkan.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Brown, Penelope , and Stephen C. Levinson
    (1987) Politeness: Some universals in language usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Chafe, Wallace
    (1980) The deployment of consciousness. In W. Chafe (ed.), The pear stories: Cognitive, cultural, and linguistic aspects of narrative production. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, pp. 9-50.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. (1994) Discourse, consciousness, and time. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Cheng, Winnie
    (2003) Intercultural conversation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. doi: 10.1075/pbns.118
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.118 [Google Scholar]
  9. Eggins, Suzanne , and Diana Slade
    (1997) Analysing casual conversation. London: Cassell.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Embree, John F
    (1950) Thailand, a loosely structured social system. American Anthropologist52: 181-93. doi: 10.1525/aa.1950.52.2.02a00030
    https://doi.org/10.1525/aa.1950.52.2.02a00030 [Google Scholar]
  11. Goffman, Erving
    (1972) Interaction ritual: Essays on face-to-face behavior. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Gumperz, John J
    (1982) Discourse strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511611834
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511611834 [Google Scholar]
  13. Halliday, Michael A
    (1985) An Introduction to functional grammar. London: Edward Arnold.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Hasada, Rie
    (2006) Cultural scripts: Glimpses into the Japanese emotion world. In C. Goddard (ed.), Ethnopragmatics: Understanding discourse in cultural context. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 171-198.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Hofstede, Geert
    (1991) Culture and organizations: Software of the mind. London: McGraw Hill.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. (2003) Geert Hofstede™ cultural dimensions. 19 Nov 2009 www.geert-hofstede.com/.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Honda, Atsuko
    (2002) Conflict management in Japanese public affairs talk shows. Journal of Pragmatics34: 573-608. doi: 10.1016/S0378‑2166(01)00053‑4
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(01)00053-4 [Google Scholar]
  18. Holmes, Henry , and Suchada Tangtongtavy
    (1997) Working with the Thais. Bangkok: White Lotus.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Ide, Sachiko
    (2006) Wakimae no goyōron. Tokyo: Taishūkan.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Iwasaki, Shoichi , and Preeya Ingkaphirom Horie
    (1998) The ‘Northridge Earthquake’ conversations: Conversational patterns in Japanese and Thai and their cultural significance. Discourse and Society9.4: 501-529. doi: 10.1177/0957926598009004005
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926598009004005 [Google Scholar]
  21. Komin, Suntaree
    (1998) The world view through Thai value systems. In A. Pongsapich (ed.), Traditional and changing Thai world view. Bangkok: Chulalongkorn University Press, pp. 207-228.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Kumagai, Tomoko
    (2004) The role of repetition in complaint conversations. In P. Szatrowski (ed.), Hidden and open conflict in Japanese conversational interaction. Tokyo: Kurosio Publishers, pp. 199-220.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Lebra, Takie Sugiyama
    (1976) Japanese patterns of behavior. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Lekawatana, Pongsri
    (1974) A contrastive study of English and Thai. Monterey, CA: Defense Language Institute.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Malinowski, Bronislaw
    (2006 [1926]) On phatic communion. In A. Jaworski and N. Coupland (eds.), The discourse reader, second edition. New York: Routledge, pp. 296-298.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Markus, Hazel R. , and Shinobu Kitayama
    (1991) Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation. Psychological Review98.2: 224-253. doi: 10.1037/0033‑295X.98.2.224
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.98.2.224 [Google Scholar]
  27. Maynard, Senko K
    (1989) Japanese conversation: Self-contextualization through structure and interactional management. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Media Monitor
    (2009) <www.oknation.net/blog/teammediamonitor/2009/05/07/entry-1 (accessed 19 November 2009)
  29. Mizutani, Nobuko
    (1993) Kyōwa kara danwa e. Nihongo gaku 12.4: 4–10.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Morita, Emi
    (2005) Negotiation of contingent talk: The Japanese interactional particles ne and sa. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. doi: 10.1075/pbns.137
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/pbns.137 [Google Scholar]
  31. Mulder, Neil
    (1996) Inside Thai society. Amsterdam: The Pepin Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. National News Bureau
  33. Ochiai, Rumiko
    (2008) Gōi keisei kaiwa de hyōshutsu suru serufu to ba no riron-kakunin. Proceedings of the 21st Japanese association of sociolinguistic sciences, March 22-23. Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, Japan, pp. 76-79.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Pavlidou, Theodossia-Soula
    (2000) Telephone conversations in Greek and German: Attending to the relationship aspect of communication. In H. Spencer-Oatey (eds.), Culturally speaking: Managing rapport through talk across cultures. London: Continuum, pp. 121-142.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Pelto, Pertti J
    (1968) The difference between “tight” and “loose” societies. Transaction5: 37-40.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Phillips, Herbert P
    (1965) Thai peasant personality. Berkeley: University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Sampson, Edward E
    (1988) The debate on individualism. American Psychologist43: 15-22. doi: 10.1037/0003‑066X.43.1.15
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.43.1.15 [Google Scholar]
  38. Scollon, Ron , and Suzanne Wong Scollon
    (2001) Intercultural communication: A discourse approach. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Shimizu, Hiroshi
    (2003) Ba no Hassō. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Spencer-Oatey, Helen
    (2000) Rapport management: A framework for analysis. In H. Spencer-Oatey (ed.), Culturally speaking: Managing rapport through talk across cultures. New York: Continuum, pp. 11-45.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Straehle, Carolyn A
    (1993) “Samuel?” “Yes, dear?”: Teasing and conversational rapport. In D. Tannen (ed.), Framing in discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 210-230.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Tannen, Deborah
    (1984) Conversational style: Analyzing talk among friends. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Triandis Harry C
    (1995) Individualism & collectivism. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Young, Linda W.L
    (1994) Crosstalk and culture in Sino-American communication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511519901
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511519901 [Google Scholar]
  45. Ubonsakul, Margaret
    (2009) Significance of ‘face’ and politeness in social interaction as revealed through Thai ‘face’ idioms. In F. Bargiela-Chiappini and M. Haugh (eds.), Face, Communication and Social Interaction. London: Equinox, pp. 289-305.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Uyeno, Tazuko
    (1971) A study of Japanese modality - A performative analysis of sentence particles. Ph.D. dissertation. University of Michigan.
  47. Wichiarajote, Weerayuth
    (1973) The theory of affiliative society. Bangkok: College of Education, Prasanmitr, pp.118-119. cited in Steven Piker (1975) The psychological study of Theravada societies. Netherlands: Brill Academic Publishers.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Witthayasakphan, Somphong
    (2009) kaan chái phaasǎa sadɛɛŋ khwaam runrɛɛŋ nai phâat huǎ kaaw aachayaakam nai nǎŋsɯ̌ɯphim raai wan. www.human.cmu.ac.th/~thai/sompong/res_kalaya1.doc (accessed 19 November 2009)
  49. Wuwongse, Warintorn , and Weerawan Washiradirok
    (2001) Comparison of Thai and Japanese viewpoints towards each other. Warasarn Silapasart1.1: 194-215.
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/prag.20.3.01aok
Loading
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Communicative styles , Group discussion , Japanese , Rapport , Social talk and Thai
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error