by Young-im Kim
In this global society, we can easily find immigrants who moved to another country for better living. The first generation tends to maintain their home cultures and languages than the 2nd and the 3rd generation does. The 2nd and 3rd generations who were born and raised in their host country might be naturally socialized by the host country. They may follow the rules and norms of the host country. However, the first generation people were already socialized by their home country. They might experience the moment that they have to choose the norm to follow. They may hesitate to access or resist the host country’s community. Why they tend to keep their identity and what makes us distinct as an individual, culture, and language community? Do we have to have singular identity? and can we decide national characteristics as a stereotype?
I think finding one’s identity is the process of lineation but not just from national characteristics. For example, Japanese people sometimes argue they use indirect communication skills and Westerners tend to be direct. I think it depends on the situation and the standard of “indirect”. Culture cannot be generalized and not just from an inherent. It might be an easy way to understand the culture by means of stereotyping; in fact, I feel the stereotype makes difficult to understand complicated individual.
Furthermore, culture has been changing and dynamic through transnational mobility. However, as me being a foreigner in Japan, Japanese tend to like drawing a distinction between foreigner and Japanese. I studied “Nihonjinron” which means a subject about Japanese. I think no country has researched themselves as a subject. Tricks (2011) also argue Japanese seem unwilling to make changes in their corporate cultures that would allow new ideas to percolate to the top. We do not need to severely classify the identity. Between communities, we have a lot of possibilities not just problems. Sen (2006) mentioned “The artificial diminution of human beings into singular identities can have divisive effects, making the world potentially much more incendiary.” We do not have to exclude other cultures as well as be assimilated by other cultures. I believe global village is made of Mosaic, which is not fixed and solid.
Sen,A.(2006). Identity and violence: The illusion of destiny. W.W. Norton & Co.: New York.
Tricks, H. (2011). Summoning the next generation of leaders. In McKinsey & Co. (Ed.) Reimagining Japan: The quest for a future that works. Vixmedia: San Francisco, CA.