Ambivalent 'selves': Japanese women's diasporic experiences in Australian higher education

Ichimoto, T. (2001). Ambivalent 'selves': Japanese women's diasporic experiences in Australian higher education. In: Transforming Cultures/Shifting Boundaries: Asian Diasporas & Identities in Australia & Beyond, Brisbane, (12-12). 30 November - 2 December, 2001.


Author Ichimoto, T.
Title of paper Ambivalent 'selves': Japanese women's diasporic experiences in Australian higher education
Conference name Transforming Cultures/Shifting Boundaries: Asian Diasporas & Identities in Australia & Beyond
Conference location Brisbane
Conference dates 30 November - 2 December, 2001
Place of Publication Brisbane
Publisher Arts Faculty, University of Queensland
Publication Year 2001
Sub-type Other
Start page 12
End page 12
Total pages 1
Language eng
Abstract/Summary In an age of globalisation and internationalisation, how women learn to represent themselves in terms of their cultural, social and gender identities in the wider world is significant. A group of 17 Japanese women studying in postgraduate courses in three Australian universities were interviewed for part of this longitudinal project, and their case studies are presented in this paper to portray the women's lived experiences and interpret how higher education overseas affects their reconstruction of their 'selves' and traditional Japanese femininity. I set my analytic framework through a discussion of the forceful globalisation of higher education and discourses of identity and 'self', and then analyse the present status of Japanese women in contemporary Japan. I then provide excerpts of the women's narratives which indicate ambivalent 'selves' in transition. Two possibilities have arisen from their narratives to illuminate this ambivalence - one possibility is that women's positive experiences in Australia and their increased and diverse exposure to and experience of other cultures may influence cultural change such as the transformation of constructs of women at home, and challenge existing identity and femininity discourses in Japan. The second possibility is that negative aspects of their 'diasporic experiences' can also articulate other complex identity politics, such as Japanese women's 'double marginalisation' which means being both a woman and a member of an ethnic minority group, conflicts between the homogenisation of 'Asian women' and representations of 'new Japanese women', and their sense of belongingness to their original culture. These contradictory phenomena of identity formations within Japanese women have the potential to shift the debate and challenge current essentialist views of hegemonic homogenisation of regional identities.
Subjects EX
330103 Sociology of Education
740301 Higher education
750303 Gender
Q-Index Code EX

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Education Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 23 Aug 2007, 23:31:55 EST