This thesis explores misunderstandings and conflicts that may arise in situations where Japanese and U.S. employees work together, as interpreted through Goffman's dramaturgical perspective and cognitive anthropology. Common factors found in research made it possible to develop loose hypotheses concerning inner-company relationships as affected by individualism and collectivism, and gender differentiation. This was accomplished through a snowball sample with 12 Japanese and U.S. participants who had experience working cross-culturally in Japanese and U.S. work environments. Results showed agreement with the hypotheses, in that tensions arise since Japanese work environments (collectivistic, more gender-differentiation) differ widely from U.S. work environments (individualistic, less gender differentiation). It was also found that newer Japanese companies have less gender differentiation and fewer expectations for employees to dedicate themselves to their companies, and that some participants no longer experienced discomfort after having adapted to their companies' cultures. Future research may include detailed studies on cross-cultural companies concerning Japanese and U.S. cultures, examining more modern Japanese and U.S. companies in comparison to more traditional ones.


Nurse, Anne M.


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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