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Title: Integration, identity and beyond : a narrative case study of two Japanese women living in Britain
Author: Iguchi, Mikio
ISNI:       0000 0004 2724 9797
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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Integrativeness (Gardner, 2001) and acculturation (Schumann, 1986) have been influential concepts in the field of second language acquisition (SLA), which propose that second language (L2) learners’ social-psychological identification with the target language (TL) community is essential for successful SLA. The present study ventures to incorporate theories from two separate fields: SLA which has expanded its research scope from cognitive dimensions to social dimensions since the 1990s, and intercultural communication which provides abundant insights into the social integration and identity formation of newcomers in intercultural settings. I explored and co-constructed the hermeneutical meanings which two Japanese women in Britain attached to integration and identity formation, and how such meanings changed over two years. Semi-structured interviews, participant observations, participant diaries, and other supplementary methods (research diaries, e-mails and recordings) were used to collect qualitative data. I played an active role in co-constructing their hermeneutical meanings of interacting with other people in the UK which is presented as a narrative case study. Positioned in a holistic sociocultural perspective, the current research poses questions on fragmentarily defined cognitive constructs, integrativeness and acculturation, and proposes that identification is nurtured and developed through interaction in which one can identify commonalities with one’s interlocutors as individuals, but not solely because of their cultural, ethnic or linguistic affiliations. The participants’ cultural-ethnic identity was often ‘betwixt and between’ in that they felt different from both British and Japanese people who lacked intercultural experience. Such vulnerability of their cultural-ethnic identity was offset by developing a sense of belonging through other social identities (e.g. family, religion) in which mutual acceptance with other members of a community was established. Participants’ cultural-ethnic identity seemed dormant when it was unharmed, but it emerged in the forefront and became the core identity when it was threatened. The participants’ experience of alienation or foreignness triggered them to seek empathetic relationships with other people. This study confirms the importance of the networks formed among foreign nationals who speak English as a lingua franca (ELF), since their sense of comradeship is underpinned by empathy as ‘co-foreigners’ which provided emotional, social and practical support in their daily lives. This study seeks to benefit people who have crossed linguistic, cultural or ethnic boundaries, or people engaged in sending or accepting newcomers who have crossed such boundaries.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HM Sociology ; JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration