in Secrets, Sex, and Spectacle

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780226894089
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226894119 | DOI:

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After each scandal, participants in Japan grovel through a ritual of remorse, resignations, and occasionally redemption. In the United States, executives usually do not resign until they are about to be kicked out. Many studies of apology in Japan base the perceived difference on cultural patterns. That Japan is more apologetic than America has also been attributed to differing notions of shame and guilt. This chapter argues that we can better understand differences between Japanese and American patterns of apology and resignation by looking beyond theory to a tiny empirical slice of the phenomenon: public apology in scandals. Among the relevant rules, rules of individual apology suggest, though quite equivocally, a stronger role for apology in Japan than in America. Different rules affect apologies in groups. This chapter focuses on those that encourage resignation as a form of atonement.

Keywords: public apology; scandals; Japan; United States; resignation; rules; atonement; groups; individual apology

Chapter.  17379 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Law

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