Wrapping Culture: Politeness, Presentation, and Power in Japan and Other Societies

Paperback | April 30, 1999

byJoy Hendry

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Wrapping Culture is concerned with problems of intercultural communication and the possibilities for misinterpretation of the familiar in an unfamiliar context. Starting with an examination of gift-wrapping, Joy Hendry demonstrates how our expectations are often influenced by cultural factorswhich may blind us to an appreciation of underlying intent. She then extends this approach to the study of polite language as the wrapping of thoughts and intentions, garments as body wrappings, constructions and gardens as wrapping of space, and even to the ways in which people may be wrapped inseating arrangements, or meetings and drinking customs may be constrained by temporal versions of wrapping. Throughout the book, Dr Hendry considers ways in which groups of people use such symbolic forms to impress and manipulate one another, and points out a Western tendency to underestimate such non-verbal communication, or reject it as mere decoration. The ideas she presents should be valid in anyintercultural encounter and demonstrate that Japanese culture, so often thought of as a special case, can supply a model through which we can formulate general theories about human behaviour.

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Wrapping Culture is concerned with problems of intercultural communication and the possibilities for misinterpretation of the familiar in an unfamiliar context. Starting with an examination of gift-wrapping, Joy Hendry demonstrates how our expectations are often influenced by cultural factorswhich may blind us to an appreciation of un...

Joy Hendry is both Principal Lecturer and Oxford Brookes University and Reader in Social Anthropology at the Scottish Centre for Japanese Studies at Stirling University. Her previous books include: Marriage in Changing Japan; Becoming Japanese, and Understanding Japanese Society

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:216 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.51 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198280289

ISBN - 13:9780198280286

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`it is a rare delight to discover a book that ... relates Japan to the rest of the world instead of isolating it in its incomparable characteristics ... The solid anthropological roots of this work are evident throughout ... this book puts the previous knowledge about Japan in a new andstimulating perspective and suggests a different approach in the study of other cultures. For the non-specialist, it is a good read, containing a few amusing anecdotes. Above all, it is, to use the author's own words, beautifully `presented', with numerous illustrations and colour plates'Cambridge Anthropology