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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

Travel Grant Report Freyja Fischer

04.11.2015, by Kai Sassenberg in grant report

Osnabrück University, Germany; Visit to Center for Experimental Research in Social Sciences, Hokkaido University, Japan, with Dr Mie Kito

The EASP travel grant allowed me to spend seven weeks with Dr. Mie Kito in Professor Masaki Yuki’s Lab group at Hokkaido University. During this time, we collected data for a cross-cultural study (one of the main studies of my PhD), developed a qualitative coding scheme for the open answers in the study, and I presented and discussed my project in the lab meeting.

The study ‘Perceptions of and reactions to sexist behaviours’ is central to my PhD thesis. In this study I compare how women from Japan, Turkey, and Germany perceive benevolent and hostile sexist events (Glick & Fiske, 2001) and sexual harassment. I also compare how they say they would deal with such incidents. I selected these countries because they represent the cultural logics of face, honor, and dignity (Leung & Cohen, 2011), which I suppose influence on how women say they would react to sexist incidents. Furthermore, I assume that relational mobility (Schug, Yuki, & Maddux, 2010), through its influence on rejection avoidance, interpersonal harmony, and the independent self (Hashimoto & Yamagishi, 2013) influences to which extent women say they would verbally confront a sexist remark.

When I arrived in Sapporo, we had already finished our questionnaire. Thus, I started my stay with introducing our project in the lab meeting. I received valuable feedback from Dr. Mie Kito, a post-doc previously working in Dr. Yuki’s lab, and Dr. Yuki himself. After collecting the data we developed a coding scheme for the qualitative responses included in the questionnaire. We included two open questions in the study, one asking for examples of similar sexist events as those described in the study and another asking for the best way to deal those behaviours. We included the first question as a reference for future study in case our scenarios used would be too artificial. We included the second question asking for the best way to deal with the behaviours in order to be able to identify possible culture-specific behaviours. For these latter answers I developed a coding scheme based on the German answers. Then we discussed the German coding scheme regarding the Japanese answers and decided to apply it. We asked coders to be aware of possible new, specifically Japanese categories. German data was coded at the same time by two student assistants in Germany. After the Japanese data were coded, we discussed new categories identified by the two Japanese coders and decided to recode both the Japanese and the German data now using these new categories. I am describing this procedure in that much detail because it would never have been possible to complete this process through discussing via email and I am very grateful for having had the opportunity to discuss this in person. In this way I also had the opportunity to talk to the Japanese student assistants about their perception of the scenarios. The Japanese coders identified four new categories of answers that were not included in the German coding scheme and seem to reflect a Japanese way of dealing with conflict.

While in Sapporo, I did not start to analyze the quantitative data, because I was waiting for the data from Turkey. Based on our experiences from the qualitative data, Dr. Kito and I thought about acceptable ways for Japanese women to confront sexist scenarios, and, as a completion of the project, developed a follow-up study on confronting sexism in a way possibly consistent with Japanese culture.

Since I returned to Germany I am analyzing the data from all three countries. In the middle of May I presented some preliminary results in a colloquium at my department.

Furthermore, I am very glad to have experienced the Japanese culture through my home-stay family, the lab group, and daily life in Japan. As a cross-cultural researcher, this experience is invaluable to my research.