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Power / authority


The Extended Family Family life has always been important in Japan. Before 1945, many Japanese lived in large family units that included grandparents, parents, children, and sometimes uncles and their families. Japanese families were bound together by a strict set of customs. Husbands had complete authority over their wives, and children were expected to show unquestioning obedience to their parents. Marriage and Courtship-When a child was old enough to marry, the parents selected a suitable marriage partner. In some cases, the bride and groom had never met before the wedding. The Nuclear Family Today most of the Japanese live in the style of a nuclear family. These consist of only parents and children. The Japanese still have strong family ties and a deep respect for authority. But since WW2 relationships with families have become a little less formal, and more democratic. Marriage and Courtship-Most young people now select their own marriage partners on the basis of shared interests and mutual attraction. However, the parents still sometimes decide the marriage partner for their child to marry.

What a fascinating explanation. Japan's unique prewar ie, or "family" system, in which the elder male child inherited authority and power from the family, was abolished after the war, when it morphed into the so-called shinzoku, or "relative" system. As home electronics and other labor-saving devices became widely available and affordable, women were liberated from many of the heavier and time-consuming housekeeping duties. And as women become better educated and more advanced in the work place, the gap between men and women continues to gradually shrink. The result: a trend toward fewer children.

Power Distance: the extent to which the less powerful expect and accept that power is distributed unequally

Low Power Distance

High Power distance

Subordinates expect to be consulted Subordinates expect to be told what to do
Boss should be resourceful democrat Boss should be benevolent autocrat
Privileges and status symbols frowned upon Privileges and status symbols expected
Teachers expect initiatives from students in class Teachers are expected to take all initiatives in class
Hierarchy in organizations seen as exploitive Hierarchy in organizations reflects natural differences
Inequalities between people should be minimized Inequalities between people are expected and desired
Parents and children treat one another as equals Children respect parents and parents expect obedience
Austria, Israel, Ireland, Scandinavia Malaysia, Panama, Mexico, Philippines

USA ranked 38 of 53 moderate/low PD