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Accounting Episodes as Communicative Practice Affecting Cultural Knowledge
Unformatted Document Text:  16 Rather, she made the classmate’s “American” identity relevant as evidenced by her statement, “Oh well, she is American.” Hiroko’s cultural knowledge was that one should show up for arrangements that he or she made unless there was “a big accident or something.” She regarded this rule of conduct to be applied to the group to which she belonged but not to “Americans” who belong outside of the boundary that she perceived. As a result of not engaging in this accounting episode further, neither her cultural knowledge nor her perception of its applicability changed. Moreover, her image of “Americans” as “often they didn’t show up” and making “a lame excuse” was reinforced. The boundary that she had perceived between “Americans” and herself was also reinforced. Hiroko’s relationship with the classmate did not developed either, beyond the one in which they just “talk” when they “see each other.” When I asked Yoko, the informant in Excerpt 4, her opinion about the kind of incident in which an American did not show up for a get-together with a Japanese and the Japanese did not confront her, she stated as follows: Excerpt 6 #14(Yoko) pp. 20-21 It’s better to say something. If it were me, I’m not so strong but, I would say something like, “I was waiting for you.” Then she would say, “Sorry”.... If I didn’t say anything she would probably think, “I didn’t go but she didn’t go either”.... If I didn’t say anything the relationship with her would become a distant one, like just exchanging greetings, we would not talk to each other. But if I said, “I was waiting,” she would say, “I’m sorry. How about when and when?” Then it can be a beginning of a friendship.

Authors: Kotani, Mariko.
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16
Rather, she made the classmate’s “American” identity relevant
as evidenced by her statement, “Oh well, she is American.”
Hiroko’s cultural knowledge was that one should show up for
arrangements that he or she made unless there was “a big
accident or something.” She regarded this rule of conduct to
be applied to the group to which she belonged but not to
“Americans” who belong outside of the boundary that she
perceived. As a result of not engaging in this accounting
episode further, neither her cultural knowledge nor her
perception of its applicability changed. Moreover, her image
of “Americans” as “often they didn’t show up” and making “a lame
excuse” was reinforced. The boundary that she had perceived
between “Americans” and herself was also reinforced. Hiroko’s
relationship with the classmate did not developed either,
beyond the one in which they just “talk” when they “see each
other.”
When I asked Yoko, the informant in Excerpt 4, her opinion
about the kind of incident in which an American did not show
up for a get-together with a Japanese and the Japanese did not
confront her, she stated as follows:
Excerpt 6 #14(Yoko) pp. 20-21
It’s better to say something. If it were me, I’m not
so strong but, I would say something like, “I was
waiting for you.” Then she would say, “Sorry”.... If
I didn’t say anything she would probably think, “I
didn’t go but she didn’t go either”.... If I didn’t
say anything the relationship with her would become
a distant one, like just exchanging greetings, we
would not talk to each other. But if I said, “I was
waiting,” she would say, “I’m sorry. How about when
and when?” Then it can be a beginning of a friendship.


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