Construction of Self: The Identity of Modern Japanese-Canadians Research Paper by Botchan

Construction of Self: The Identity of Modern Japanese-Canadians
Explores the identity of Canadians of Japanese origin living in modern Canada.
# 45218 | 20,665 words | 133 sources | MLA | 2003 | GB

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The study takes a broad exploratory approach to studying issues of identity in the Japanese community in Canada. Chapter I traces the historical settlement of Japanese-Canadians in Canada with reference to how Canada?s changing attitudes on dealing with immigrants has affected the way in which Japanese-Canadians perceive themselves. Chapter II researches the relationship between language and identity. Chapter III looks at two types of modern day Japanese in Canada. First, a young student studying at MIT is used as a real life case study. Second, various fictional depictions of Japanese-Canadians are used to delve deeper into issues of Japanese identity. The subject matter has not yet been specifically covered in detail by academia (although it has rather more so by fictional writing). Available sources are analyzed closely to try to uncover trends in identity. Sources used vary from academic works (both Japanese and Canadian) on history, sociology, politics, linguistics and psychology; through to personal journal entries and fictional works concerning Japanese identity written by Japanese-Canadian authors.

The History Of Japanese-Canadians & Canadian Immigration Policy 1877-2003
The Relationship Between Language And The Formation Of Ethnic Identity
The Real And Illusory Modern Japanese-Canadian

From the Paper:

"Thus, using Bourdieu's analysis, it is theoretically possible to apply it to the situation of Japanese-Canadians to try to delve deeper into their ethnic self-identity and individual make-up. However, there are various flaws when trying to apply Bourdieu's work. First, Bourdieu interviewed his participants in some depth for his study in order to get a detailed profile of each. This variety of data about Japanese-Canadians is not currently available for this thesis and would need to be obtained first-hand (see "Recommendations" in Conclusion). Second, and more importantly, it is not possible to apply the same analysis intended for a Western, European nation such as France to a complex, Oriental nation such as Japan that prides itself on its "unique" ethnic identity and 90% middle-class (which, if true, renders analysis using economic capital as a variable useless anyhow)."

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"Construction of Self: The Identity of Modern Japanese-Canadians" 29 September 2003. Web. 30 September. 2022. <>