Bilingual Child-rearing in Linguistic Intermarriage: Negotiating Language, Power, and Identities between English-Speaking Fathers and Japanese-Speaking Mothers in Japan

Lachlan Jackson (2009). Bilingual Child-rearing in Linguistic Intermarriage: Negotiating Language, Power, and Identities between English-Speaking Fathers and Japanese-Speaking Mothers in Japan PhD Thesis, School of Languages and Comp Cultural Studies, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Lachlan Jackson
Thesis Title Bilingual Child-rearing in Linguistic Intermarriage: Negotiating Language, Power, and Identities between English-Speaking Fathers and Japanese-Speaking Mothers in Japan
School, Centre or Institute School of Languages and Comp Cultural Studies
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2009-10
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Dr Belinda Kennett
Dr Kumi Kato
Dr Yuriko Nagata
Total pages 413
Total colour pages 6
Total black and white pages 407
Subjects 20 Language, Communication and Culture
Abstract/Summary This is a qualitative sociolinguistic study that investigates the parental experiences of bilingual child-rearing for linguistically intermarried couples in Japan. In particular, it focuses on the role of native English-speaking fathers. Through the incorporation of questionnaire, logbook, and in-depth interview data, the study presents eight unique and richly-nuanced cases of language contact in the family domain. The thesis builds on influential works that have both questioned the ease with which children acquire two languages (Yamamoto, 2001b) and highlighted bilingual child-rearing as an emotionally draining and labour-intensive pursuit (Okita, 2002). In accordance with recent suggestions to more readily acknowledge the socio-political dimensions of bilingualism (e.g. Heller, 2007, p. 1; Myers-Scotton, 2006; Li Wei, 2008, p. 17), this study shows bilingual child-rearing to be an innately political phenomenon. The study supports the supposition that the individual circumstances of linguistically intermarried couples rarely align neatly with the prescriptive advice found in much of the popular literature on how to raise children in two (or more) languages (Piller, 2001b). In particular, abstractions of power and discursively constructed identities are shown to structure both the specific language choices and the broader parental practices of the couples in this study. For linguistically intermarried couples, bilingual child-rearing is shown to be a fluid process of negotiation, whereby language choices and decisions about transmission strategies are tied to social positioning of both self and other. Drawing from a broader literature pertaining to the social psychology of parenting, this thesis also proposes a model to analyse the ecological context of bilingual child-rearing. The linguistic behaviours of the parents, as well as their decisions concerning family language planning are shown to emerge from each family’s unique and fluctuating set of social circumstances. These include, but are not limited to, the quality of the spousal relationship, the family’s economic resources, (shifting) cultural affiliations of all family members, future plans, minority language contact opportunities, the medium of instruction at the child’s school, the needs and wishes of extended family members, as well as the agency of the child.
Keyword Bilingualism
Child-rearing
Linguistic Intermarriage
Power
Identity
Japan
Additional Notes 39, 40, 53, 69, 111, 261

 
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Created: Mon, 15 Mar 2010, 17:57:00 EST by Mr Lachlan Jackson on behalf of Library - Information Access Service