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Accounting Episodes as Communicative Practice Affecting Cultural Knowledge
Unformatted Document Text:  9 Masato realized the difference between his knowledge about appropriate conduct and the professor’s. On the one hand, Masato expected his advisor to “take care of” Masato by suggesting a better place for him. The professor, on the other hand, expected Masato to take care of himself. To understand this difference, Masato made his “Japanese” identity relevant as evidenced by his having contrasted appropriate conduct in “this society” with that in the “Japanese society.” In other words, instead of interpreting the difference as individual one, Masato attributed it as “cultural difference.” His own cultural knowledge about how to deal with the problematic event with his advisor was to “behave as your surrounding circumstances let you do.” His perception of American society’s cultural knowledge was that “you have to make an action.” When he “grasped” this difference as a result of engaging in the accounting episode with the adviser, Masato was made aware of the boundary between him and his adviser. As a consequence, his cultural knowledge was affected, or perhaps broadened, and he modified his behavior. After this incident, Masato presented himself to the adviser as a student who tried hard but could not succeed (Masato’s perception of American cultural knowledge about appropriate conduct) instead of waiting passively for his adviser to give him suggestions (his Japanese cultural knowledge). In the next excerpt, the same informant described another episode, this time with his classmate. Excerpt 3(a) #9(Masato) pp. 25-27

Authors: Kotani, Mariko.
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9
Masato realized the difference between his knowledge about
appropriate conduct and the professor’s. On the one hand,
Masato expected his advisor to “take care of” Masato by
suggesting a better place for him. The professor, on the other
hand, expected Masato to take care of himself.
To understand this difference, Masato made his “Japanese”
identity relevant as evidenced by his having contrasted
appropriate conduct in “this society” with that in the
“Japanese society.” In other words, instead of interpreting the
difference as individual one, Masato attributed it as “cultural
difference.” His own cultural knowledge about how to deal with
the problematic event with his advisor was to “behave as your
surrounding circumstances let you do.” His perception of
American society’s cultural knowledge was that “you have to
make an action.” When he “grasped” this difference as a result
of engaging in the accounting episode with the adviser, Masato
was made aware of the boundary between him and his adviser. As
a consequence, his cultural knowledge was affected, or perhaps
broadened, and he modified his behavior. After this incident,
Masato presented himself to the adviser as a student who tried
hard but could not succeed (Masato’s perception of American
cultural knowledge about appropriate conduct) instead of
waiting passively for his adviser to give him suggestions (his
Japanese cultural knowledge).
In the next excerpt, the same informant described another
episode, this time with his classmate.
Excerpt 3(a) #9(Masato) pp. 25-27


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