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Negotiation of homeland visit and short-term schooling among Japanese immigrant mothers and their children

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Abstract:

In this presentation, I will examine the ways Asian immigrant mothers and their U.S.-born children negotiate homeland visits. More specifically, I will look at how Japanese immigrant mothers residing in the U.S. navigate their trips to the home country when their U.S.-born children often resist. Japanese mothers living in the U.S. utilize the difference in the length of summer vacation between the two school systems, and send their children to Japanese regular schools temporarily for the part of the summer while children are “on vacation”. Therefore, I will ask the following questions: How do Japanese immigrant mothers and their children understand their trips to Japan? How do the mothers negotiate their visits to the home country when their children resist the temporary schooling? Research shows that immigrants do not always sever connections with their home countries in the process of immigration. While they are physically absent from their home countries, they are still involved in those countries politically, economically, socially, and/or culturally. Scholars have studied their going-back-and-forth activities across borders in the framework of transnationalism. Previous studies reveal that the immigrant parents and their children physically visit their home countries for various reasons. Some children see the trips as positive and enjoyable experience, others think (the possibility of) being sent back as fearful and threatening. Yet, it seems to me that little research has examined the ways the role of education complicates immigrant parents and their children’s homeland visits. With this study, I interviewed six Japanese mothers, who immigrated to the US at some point after they graduated from Japanese high school as well as resided in or near a mid-sized city in the Midwest of the USA. All of them were married to European American, and had at least one US-born school-age child. Additionally, I interviewed their 7 children, who were somewhere in Grades K-12 of the U.S. school system. With study participants’ permissions, all interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed by the researcher. My research suggests that mothers see trips to the home country as reward to their children as well as the opportunity for intergenerational cultural transmission. While it varies across cases, mothers and children in my study tended to travel to and from the East Asia alone mainly because of husband’s work schedule and financial burdens. While mothers explained that the trips consumed energy, they and children still found the visits to be enjoyable with numerous activities such as visiting amusement parks and gathering with relatives. Furthermore, the immigrant mothers understood the importance of going to visit their elderly parents in their 70’s and 80’s, who were not able to see their daughters and grandchildren frequently. I would argue that their trips to Japan provide them with opportunity for cultural transmission from one generation to another. On the contrary, mothers see short-term schooling as a challenge which they impose on their children. Of the six mothers I interviewed, five mothers responded that they had sent their children to Japanese schools. Some of the children I interviewed shared with me the difficulty they experienced at Japanese schools due to the language barrier. I would argue Japanese mothers use the “fun” part of their trips to Japan to encourage their children to endure the hardships they encounter during their temporary education in Japanese schools.
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Name: 56th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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MLA Citation:

Kobayashi, Minori. "Negotiation of homeland visit and short-term schooling among Japanese immigrant mothers and their children" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 56th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Apr 22, 2012 <Not Available>. 2014-12-12 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p556646_index.html>

APA Citation:

Kobayashi, M. , 2012-04-22 "Negotiation of homeland visit and short-term schooling among Japanese immigrant mothers and their children" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 56th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico <Not Available>. 2014-12-12 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p556646_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In this presentation, I will examine the ways Asian immigrant mothers and their U.S.-born children negotiate homeland visits. More specifically, I will look at how Japanese immigrant mothers residing in the U.S. navigate their trips to the home country when their U.S.-born children often resist. Japanese mothers living in the U.S. utilize the difference in the length of summer vacation between the two school systems, and send their children to Japanese regular schools temporarily for the part of the summer while children are “on vacation”. Therefore, I will ask the following questions: How do Japanese immigrant mothers and their children understand their trips to Japan? How do the mothers negotiate their visits to the home country when their children resist the temporary schooling? Research shows that immigrants do not always sever connections with their home countries in the process of immigration. While they are physically absent from their home countries, they are still involved in those countries politically, economically, socially, and/or culturally. Scholars have studied their going-back-and-forth activities across borders in the framework of transnationalism. Previous studies reveal that the immigrant parents and their children physically visit their home countries for various reasons. Some children see the trips as positive and enjoyable experience, others think (the possibility of) being sent back as fearful and threatening. Yet, it seems to me that little research has examined the ways the role of education complicates immigrant parents and their children’s homeland visits. With this study, I interviewed six Japanese mothers, who immigrated to the US at some point after they graduated from Japanese high school as well as resided in or near a mid-sized city in the Midwest of the USA. All of them were married to European American, and had at least one US-born school-age child. Additionally, I interviewed their 7 children, who were somewhere in Grades K-12 of the U.S. school system. With study participants’ permissions, all interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed by the researcher. My research suggests that mothers see trips to the home country as reward to their children as well as the opportunity for intergenerational cultural transmission. While it varies across cases, mothers and children in my study tended to travel to and from the East Asia alone mainly because of husband’s work schedule and financial burdens. While mothers explained that the trips consumed energy, they and children still found the visits to be enjoyable with numerous activities such as visiting amusement parks and gathering with relatives. Furthermore, the immigrant mothers understood the importance of going to visit their elderly parents in their 70’s and 80’s, who were not able to see their daughters and grandchildren frequently. I would argue that their trips to Japan provide them with opportunity for cultural transmission from one generation to another. On the contrary, mothers see short-term schooling as a challenge which they impose on their children. Of the six mothers I interviewed, five mothers responded that they had sent their children to Japanese schools. Some of the children I interviewed shared with me the difficulty they experienced at Japanese schools due to the language barrier. I would argue Japanese mothers use the “fun” part of their trips to Japan to encourage their children to endure the hardships they encounter during their temporary education in Japanese schools.


Similar Titles:
Parental involvement among transnational immigrant parents in the US: Japanese immigrant mothers’ perceptions of their children’s short-term schooling in Japan

Schooling Location, Socioeconomic and Cognitive Success among Immigrants and Their Children: the Case of Los Angeles

Reunification Expectations among Incarcerated Mothers and Their Children: An Examination of Prison Visitation and Prior Living Situation

Explaining the Female Educational Advantage: The Role of Family and School Processes among Adolescent Children of Immigrants


 
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