Social Interaction, Social Context, and Language: Essays in Honor of Susan Ervin-Tripp

By Dan Isaac Slobin; Julie Gerhardt et al. | Go to book overview

understood by the Japanese. I had, I think, the [descriptive sense] of the Japanese words straight. What differed between my understanding and that of the [native]-born Japanese was the evaluative meaning I attached to those words and the concepts they represented.

"Sunao . . . refers to . . . a 'gentle sensitive heart' that is responsive to social demands [and] sensitive to social context.' . . . [It is an ideal for the Japanese]. Accordingly, my parents tried to teach me to be sunao -- to be obedient and filial and to value these traits as the best possible attitudes for a child to take toward his or her parents. Unfortunately, by the time I was old enough to understand that sunao was the word to describe this concept, I had already realized that too much compliance with one's parents or with any other authority figure was viewed with suspicion and disdain by my peers. By the time I finished adolescence, during which time my mother would yell at me to be more sunao as I went through my acting-out and rebellious phases, I was convinced that sunao meant spineless. . . . This conflict between sunao and autonomy still exists, though I realize now that my parents are the only people in American society who expect sunao from me.

". . . Amae, the emotion corresponding to 'the sense of, or the accompanying hope for, being lovingly cared for, [that] involve depending on and presuming another's indulgence' . . . appears not to exist as a separately defined emotion in Western cultures I inferred my own definition of amae from the fact that I was always [said to be] amaeteru when I was trying to curry favor with my parents by being especially nice . . . . Again, I grasped the behavior involved but formed an incomplete idea of the concept. . . . . I believed that if anyone were to notice that I was [using] amae, they would [want] to deny me what I was trying to get [by this contemptible means]. I therefore equated amae in my own mind with something like being a 'lick-spittle'. . . . I had no idea that amae could be a reciprocal emotion in that the person who is being 'buttered up' can more or less agree to be influenced by what still seems to me a rather slimy way to get something for nothing.

"That these interpretations were so inconsistent with what the words actually mean to real Japanese shows how seriously at odds . . . the Japanese and American parts of myself can be."

Someone imaginative may think of a convincing and simple way to test on the individual level for the difference between an autonomous and a relational self, but to my mind it hasn't happened yet.


REFERENCES

Akimoto, S. 1990). "Japanese exceptions to the rules of address". Unpublished manuscript

Au, T. K. 1983). "Chinese and English counterfactuals: The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis revisited." Cognition, 15, 153-187

Befu, H. 1986). The social and cultural background of child development in Japan and the United States. In H. Stevenson, H. Azuma & K. Hakuta (Eds.), Child development and education in Japan.

-50-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Social Interaction, Social Context, and Language: Essays in Honor of Susan Ervin-Tripp
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 655

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.