Bunka versus Culture: A Comparison of Japanese and United States Culture Reflected in Two Summer Camps
In comparing outdoor summer camps in two different countries, I combined two of my greatest interests. I was given the opportunity to examine each of the cultures' influence on the beliefs, values, and behaviors of a group of people in the rustic, wild outdoor summer camp environment. My work was exciting and challenging, as it demanded that I use an etic perspective, or outside view, to examine Camp Arbutus/ Hayo-Went-Ha, a camp in which I have been involved for many years. Additionally, my research gave me the opportunity to explore Camp Chimikepp, the camp in Japan that was initially modeled after Hayo-Went-Ha and is still influenced by Americans who were former leaders at Hayo-Went-Ha. By comparing the two camps, I hoped to observe how each camp reflected the culture of the country in which it was located. Particularly, I was curious to see how the combination of Japanese and American influences would be reflected in Chimikepp, and was interested to find if there would be strong effects from both cultures, or if the manifestation of one would prevail. Through my research, I found answers to these questions and also discovered some basic challenges of anthropological research. I confronted cultural bias and became more knowledgeable and culturally aware as a result. I feel that my research was not only successful from an academic standpoint, but also significant in my personal development.
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