4 Getting Ahead

nuclear family
extended family
place a higher value on / to value highly
private vs. public schools
special needs


  • Why are May and Chao disagreeing? What values are in conflict?
  • What would you advise them to do?
  • When you think of your own children, how would you balance values on higher value on education and family? What would you do in May's and Chao's situation?
  • How much of a person's university education is the responsibility of the "child" and how much of it is the parents'? (critical decisions such as major and university choice, finances, etc.)
  • How much do you contribute to your own education?
  • How will you arrange for your own children's education?
  • What is your experience or view on the kyōiku mama?
  • Look at the Culture Corner on p. 24 of your textbook. Which of these would be a big concern if or when you have children?
  • Discuss the different ways of showing parental love on p. 24 of the textbook.
  • How often do you meet with your extended family members? Is yours a close family?
  • In your study of other languages, have you come across any interesting cultural differences regarding, success, money, time, family, etc.?
    What does "success" mean to you? What will make you feel "succesful"?
  • Other experiences, stories, research...



Suggested reading:

Mother`s Tragic Crime Exposes A Culture Gap (1985) / 親子心中 Oyako-shinjū

Why Japan's isolated mothers are killing their children (2008)


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