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Thread: where does Asian deference come from?

  1. #1
    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    where does Asian deference come from?

    obviously we know it is part of their culture to be deferential but i was just wondering if anyone knows the origins of why Asians have such a deferential manner?

    last night I went and ate and had a few Changs at Ao's restaurant she works at towards the end of her shift. The couple that own it are great people and have gobs of money.
    To see the female owner work and serve people is quite pleasing. She is so deferential, so willing to please. Then you think about it and she probably has a lot more money than most she serves.

    Compare that to the Italian owner of our small local Italian restaurant we frequent. His service is impeccable, he is always friendly, but there is just a different vibe to him, sort of a proudness of being the owner( but not conceit) compared to the owner of the thai restaurant being so humble

    so just wondering if anyone knows the history behind. did a google but didn't come up with much

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    Senior Member sundancekid's Avatar
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    Perhaps a complete aside and just a thought. One of the last books I read was Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, and it touched on the concept of the Power Distance Index (PDI). Briefly put, it examines how much a culture values hierarchical relationships and how individuals within that culture interact with authority. As was shown by e.g. looking at plane crashes for Korean Air in the 90s, East Asian countries score high on the scale, i.e. much respect for hierarchy and authority.

    Again, perhaps a bit of a stretch, but even though the woman probably has more status and money than the customers, she took on the role as the “servant” as the hierarchical norms of her culture has taught her.

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    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundancekid View Post
    Perhaps a complete aside and just a thought. One of the last books I read was Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, and it touched on the concept of the Power Distance Index (PDI). Briefly put, it examines how much a culture values hierarchical relationships and how individuals within that culture interact with authority. As was shown by e.g. looking at plane crashes for Korean Air in the 90s, East Asian countries score high on the scale, i.e. much respect for hierarchy and authority.

    Again, perhaps a bit of a stretch, but even though the woman probably has more status and money than the customers, she took on the role as the “servant” as the hierarchical norms of her culture has taught her.
    sure and i guess it all trickles down
    you watch The King and I and you see Thai's lay flat on the floor in front of the King
    you start from there and get to the owner taking on the servant or service role

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    Senior Member nelsonone's Avatar
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    Thailand was basically a feudal system not that long ago...I think the roots of deference are in here somewhere

  5. #5
    Yes
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    Senior Member Yes's Avatar
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    I would of thought it would have come from China ..Kow Towing to the emperor etc.,then working its way down.

    Then you have the god kings in Angkor..they always seemed to be portrayed as far more extreme than the European version of the "divine right of kings."

    No factual basis for any of this just my thoughts.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Eastern and western societies have very different views on the importance of the individual verses the group.. This can be observed and studied in how people question authority, in how they debate ideas, in many aspects of inter relationships.. From the Greeks debating in the forum and the idea of one man one vote, to the Asian rice growing village which co operates for harvest. This is why Asians, in general, tolerate obvious false statements from those higher up, why senior / junior relationships are based that way, etc etc..

    The book geography of thought goes over this ground, the different social thought patterns and how that manifests into action.

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