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Enryo-Sasshi Theory

  • By: Yoshitaka Miike
  • In: Encyclopedia of Identity
  • Edited by: Ronald L. Jackson II & Michael A. Hogg
  • Subject:Self & Identity, Identity, Self & Identity

Many Westerners, especially U.S. Americans, share the perception that the Japanese communicate “ambiguously,” “passively,” “politely,” “modestly,” and even “silently.” Sociolinguists and communication researchers have suggested that Japanese communication is characterized by less verbalization, subtle nonverbal cues, and longer pauses. Implicit nonverbal messages seem to play a more important role in Japanese social interactions than do explicit verbal messages. Japanese enryo-sasshi theory was constructed to account for the sources of these perceived cross-cultural differences and ...

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