THE SUMITOMO FOUNDATION. FISCAL 2018 GRANT FOR JAPAN-RELATED RESEARCH PROJECTSCluster :
The research project’s theme is on the examination of the identity and belonging of young people who are the descendants of an international marriage between Japanese and Indonesians couples. The research will compare the situation of youths living in Japan and youths living in Indonesia.
The research will scrutinize youths’ identity formation, identity admission, and their sense of belonging to uncover and to understand their struggles in negotiating identities, why they incline to certain communities/societies/countries, and the reason behind any resistance. This study will explore youths’ subjectivity and agency as they embrace, resist, navigate, and negotiate their identity and belonging in knitted social structures and complex cultural schemes in their society. Specifically, we will investigate how those youths negotiate their heritages with their actual environment and how they manage to form affiliations concerning their two background cultures. The aim is to understand identity formation of youths with multicultural background who lived in a relatively homogenous society while being exposed to global culture (such as via the Internet).
The study will utilize descriptive analysis with interpretive and critical perspectives to provide a contextual analysis in making a comparison between the children of Japanese- Indonesian mixed marriage couples who are living in Japan and those who are living in Indonesia. The comparison is used to reveal whether a different environment will encourage different choice and influence distinctive behaviour on youths with the same problems. The study will use the qualitative method. Data collecting will use in-depth interviews with semi- structured question technique to examine all facets of respondents’ experiences. Respondents for this research will be 30 youths: 15 persons living in Japan (Tokyo, Nagoya, and Kyoto), 15 persons living in Indonesia (Jakarta, Denpasar, and Surabaya). Also, discussions with experts on Japanese identity and youth development will also be conducted to understand specific issues on the matter.