Uncertainty Avoidance He has defined the cultural characteristic of Uncertainty Avoidance as: . . . the extent to which people within a culture are made nervous by situations which they perceive as unstructured, unclear, or unpredictable, situations which they therefore try to avoid by maintaining strict codes of behaviour and a belief in absolute truths. Cultures with a strong uncertainty avoidance are active, aggressive, emotional, compulsive, security-seeking, and intolerant; cultures with a weak uncertainty avoidance are contemplative, less aggressive, unemotional, relaxed, accepting personal risks, and relatively tolerant.
Hofstede (1986: 307-308) in Brown (1994a: 175) The core of Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) is the level of uncertainty or ambiguity within a certain society. Japan ranks high when it comes to uncertainty avoidance, with a score of 92. It is natural human instinct to avoid situations in which we feel uncomfortable. Japanese schools are the place where all the uncertainty avoidance starts for youngsters in Japan. The elemantary level and lower secondary level are compulsory in the Japanese Education. From early age, their parents have told them what future they have in mind for them.
This immediately starts off from putting them in the right kindergarten, which will lead them to their prefered university. As u can tell the lifes of their children have already been worked out by their parents, from kindergarten until university, which makes the school life in Japan full of pressure. This pressure can make the youngsters in Japan become disturbed, ignorant, violent and much more. At the moment there are four trends among Japanese youth. * Parasite Singles – furita and hikikomori * Fantasy and Escapism * Violence and Death Fascination * Immorality
There are two trends which i would like to define in specific, the “Parasite Single” and “Violence and Death Fascination” Parasite Singles It all started off in 1980 when youngsters, who didn’t pass the entrance exam of a university, decided not to consider other options to progress in their future. They became the “Furita”, meaning free timeworker. The number of furia in Japan (age between 15 and 35 – the workingforce) has doubled from 1991 to 2001. In 1991 there was about 10% out of the working force which fitted into the trend “furita”. In 2001, this became about 21%.
Now they are being called the Parasite Single, young adults who decide to drop out of school to get a low paid job and get to do anything in their free time. Basically these are young adults who come out against the strict rules set up by the society. They refuse to live in a structured and high pressured lifestyle of their fathers. Now there is another type in furita which is very popular in Japan, called the “Hikikimori”. This is where the furita types decide to go to the next level, locking themselves in to their bedrooms, and refusing to come out.
They try not to only escap the society but also to get away from the reality. A man called Tim Larimer of TIME Magazine did an article about this trend, trying to describe this type of behaviour. Here you can read a piece of article: They are called hikikomori, or people who withdraw, like a turtle into its shell, and one psychologist estimates there are as many as 1 million in Japan. Like other behavioral disorders, their condition has not been discussed openly. They don’t want anyone to know either, and if the parents do try to get help, the kids threaten to assault them or even commit suicide.
So the parents keep quiet… Some hikikomori live in isolation for years. Sadatsuga Kudo, director of a nonprofit center for hikikomori in the Tokyo suburb of Fussa, treated a young man who shut himself away for 19 years before he got help. Teenagers across the world go through angst, depression and withdrawl, to be sure. But in no other country does that condition appear so widespread – or so enduring. “You can’t pinpoint the reasons,” says Kudo. “But you can pinpoint the context: it’s Japan. Here, you have to be like other people, and if you aren’t, you have a sense of loss, of shame. So you withdraw. When you are different, Kudo contends, you take the logical step for self-preservation. You disappear. Violence and Deatch Fascination Well there is another trend in Japan who is even more popular in Japan. This is when the young Japanese get fascinated with violence and death. Japan is one of the highest ranking countries when it comes to suicide rate. There even have been set up websites where people who are considering suicide can meet online. This trend has rose from 2001 to 2002 with about 58%, and then we are only talking about children in the elementary and middle-school aging 6 to 15 year old.
This is very shocking for an industrialized coutry as Japan. But it also signifies how the youth of Japan feels, powerless and lack of purpose are, keywords to describe them. Conclusion Now we can come back to our topic, which is Uncertainty Avoindance. After telling you two extreme trends in Japan we can tell what happens when a child has been refused and neglected at school by his fellow students. The child starts feeling different, and tries to get away from the reality, resulting into, dropping out of school, having no ambition and eventually locking himself into his bedroom or even trying to kill himself.
This is a rough illustration of a 6 to 14 year old child who has been dismissed by the daily environment around him. We can get back to what Hofstede tells in his theory “What is different is Dangerous”. The consequences of being neglected may result in one of the extreme trends. http://www. cyborlink. com/besite/japan. htm http://www. raymercer. net/japan/four-trends-among-japanese-youth/ http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Education_in_Japan