Localized Multiculturalism and Nationalism


Principal Investigator in Kobe Universitiy:
Hiroki OKADA(Professor, Graduate School of Intercultural Studies)

Principal Investigator in the Oversea Partner Universities:
Yung-Ho IM (Director, Institute for Social Science Research, Pusan National University)
NGUYEN Thu Huong (Vice dean, Faculty of Japan Study, Vietnam National University)


2016 Research Exchange Activity Plan 

The phenomenon of immigration and movement of migrant workers as a result of globalization has led to the creation of social policies based on the so-called multiculturalism. Multiculturalism traditionally evolved through the immigrant societies of the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe; however, recently, the numbers of migrants in Japan, East Asia, and the ASEAN nations have been progressively increasing due to the declining birth rates and the aging societies in these regions, among other factors, and this has created conflict over how to accept the multiculturalism that has already evolved in the West and a restored sense of nationalism. Examples of these efforts are Japan’s multicultural policies, South Korea’s immigration policy, and multilingual education that has been attempted in various locations. In our joint research, we call these attempts “localized multiculturalism,” and we first share basic information about each society’s sending/receiving status, theories on the localization of multiculturalism, and divergence from this in actual practice. Following this, we clarify the problems.   At the Kick-Off Symposium in Kobe, researchers from major research institutions in Japan, Europe, and Asia will first present the problems they have identified and their methodologies, and then share mutual research targets. At the Pusan Symposium, by presenting six months’ worth of studies and research results, the participants will share basic information to determine common challenges and further clarify the framework of these challenges. Based on this framework, they will then create subgroups that will focus on specific topics related to each region, and by building on each other’s discussions, they will seek to overcome the traditional framework of two-party relationships—that is, migrants (minorities) and the receiving society (majority)—and adopt a viewpoint that can potentially understand the dynamics of globalization.


Anticipated Results in 2016

In addition to the three subtopics that have already been determined, which should deepen discussions on 1) Phases of Asian multiculturalism and nationalism (theoretical frame), 2) immigrants’ and migrants’ language acquisition and social and cultural inclusion, and 3) the international movement of indigenous people and globalization, this joint research will promote the further organizing of a network of researchers in Japan. While addressing specific issues in response to the individual society, these activities will also build a foundation for pursuing more comprehensive research results.