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Kelly’s Assignment in JapanQ1: Clashes in Culture, Custom, and Expectations

Kelly’s Assignment in Japan

Q1: Clashes in Culture, Custom, and Expectations

When Kelly and her family first visited Japan, they encountered some cultural shocks. To begin with, the family first noticed that that the apartments in Japan were very different from those in America. Whereas the houses in America were large and had gardens for pets and kids, those in Japan were tiny, without front gardens, and crowded (Dresser, 2015). Also, during Kelly’s first encounter with two Americans, two Germans, and the Japanese she noticed that the Japanese had a different way of greeting which she described as a little quiet and shy. Furthermore, Kelly encountered a somewhat embracing situation where she signed students their part for presentation, and it turned out that the Japanese student did not do her assignment purporting that he was used to working in a group setting (Donaldson, 2014). Besides, Kelly’s husband situation was not getting any better in their new environment since she could not secure any job to pay his bills. Kelly’s children also suffered culture shock and expressed their disappointment in coping up with studies and making friends in their new schools since most of the student talked in Japanese (Donaldson, 2014).

Q2: The Stage of Culture Shock Kelly’s Family Experienced

Kelly’s family definitely went through the first and second stage of culture shock. The first, honeymoon stage, was experienced when Kelly and her husband were eager to explore Japan when they arrived. They had positive attitudes and a tourist feeling for about two weeks. Even though they were both tired when they arrived, they were excited to spend the weekend traveling and sightseeing, especially since japan was said to be beautiful in the spring time. Not before long, they fell into the second stage, irritation and hostility. It was hard for the family to adapt to living changes, especially how small their apartment was, how difficult it was to read food labels, and how hard it was to adapt to getting around the city. Kelly was also experiencing irritation and hostility within her work environment. The Japanese were hard to communicate with and didn’t really respect that she was a female. Kelly also didn’t know how to handle these situations at work and had to ask one of the Americans for advice. She also got irritated when the Japanese weren’t getting ahold of their group members to complete their presentations and she couldn’t figure out why they were in some sort of miscommunication. Meanwhile at home, Hey husband Joe was still unable to find a job, Kelly’s company was not keeping in touch with her, and her children were very unhappy at school.

Q3: Turning back the clock to Kelly’s Situation in Tokyo

If I would have been placed into her position, I would have made sure to ask more questions to her employer before she was sent home to relay the message to her husband. If they really cared about her family and her career, then they should have conducted more research for Kelly including what her living arrangements would be like, if there would be any school available for the kids, possible networking opportunities for her husband, work and job benefits, and they should have also given her someone’s contact information overseas who she could contact about any possible questions. I think that if she would have had a mentor to begin with, things would have went a lot smoother for her first meeting with the Japanese. She would have been prepared to do business with them and would have been able to communicate better with them. Knowing their culture more would have definitely helped her, which is something that I think Kelly’s company should have provided her with. Some sort of expatriate training so she would be prepared or even a little more of a heads up notice instead of making her decide such a bug life decision in the matter of two days (Donaldson, 2014).

Q4: What I will do as Kelly

Faced with Kelly situation, I would have supported her decision for taking the risk to venture into a foreign country considering that life comes up bundled with different opportunities which only comes ones in a lifetime. However, I would evaluate my options thoroughly before picking up any lifetime opportunity as it has the benefit of shaping you or the detriment of destroying one's dreams and life aspirations. However, in my context, I would reason slightly differently from Kelly on the decision to bringing along the family. A decision to bring along the family would mean that I will be supporting the whole family including my husband for the considerable time he will remain unemployed. In my opinion, it was better for her to stick around in Japan rather than move back to America since her Company partly met her expenses. She could then allocate the rest of the money to supporting his family, rather than running back and suffering from the unknown, i.e., either her losing her job or the husband. Like Kelly, I would also use the opportunity at the workplace to make friends and help my family learn more about the Japanese culture. However, if she chooses to move back to America, she or her husband should arrange for a new job before moving back (Dresser, 2015; Donaldson, 2014).


Donaldson, T. (2014). Ethics away from home. Applied Ethics: Critical Concepts in

Philosophy, 5, 203.

Dresser, N. (2015). Multicultural manners: New rules of etiquette for a changing society.


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