Cherish the harmony among people – 2/2

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Again from the article in the RESEARCH WORLD of ESOMAR.

The article also refers to the relations between individuality and Socio Economic Status (SES). Briefly speaking, people of lower SES aware “Conformity” more than “Individuality”

The author takes a story about a purchase of brand new car to explain about this hypothesis. Suppose that you found that your close friend bought same car of yours. What do you feel about that if you were? According to the author, people of higher SES complain “My friend is sort of stealing my identity!” On the other hand, people of lower SES say “That would be fantastic. We could make a card club!”

With this logic, Japanese people may belong to the lower SES group in terms of personalization. However the author explains this paradox by referring to the history of Japan in terms of industrialization and says “The Japanese have been industrialized for 150 years and capitalists to a large degree, and I think in general industrialization and capitalization push people in an individualistic direction. It certainly hasn’t gone very far, because they remain highly interdependent” I think that his analysis sounds reasonable for me as Japanese.

On the other hand, the author says that in China where economy is emerging people has been becoming more aware of individuality than Japanese and Korean people. This means that the more the economic situation improves, the more people aware their individuality.

The author remembers when he had a meeting with young Chinese team of major FMCG company, the discussion was much animated more than he expected and he felt that Chinese people were rapidly moving forward to a more individualistic.

The author also refers to the market research practice at the end of the article and suggests that technology and anonymity work effectively for Japanese consumers than conventional focus group where it is difficult to get honest opinions from participants. In this context, MROC or online community may be effective approaches for Japan where you can get honest opinions which may lead you to insights.

We often see articles about China and East South Asian countries so this article focusing on Japanese people was interesting for me as Japanese researcher. That is why I wrote about this.
Personally, “Having a slight difference from others” may be more comfortable for Japanese people in their community rather than “Being different from others”
Regarding the fact mentioned by the author that Japanese have been highly interdependent even we have been industrialized, the famous word from Shotoku Taishi who was a politician of sixth century came to my mind – “Cherish the harmony among people”

2014-06-27 | Posted in Blog, ResearchNo Comments »