Japanese Journal of Qualitative Psychology
Online ISSN : 2435-7065
Foreign Workers’ Identity Construction and Negotiation
A Life-Story Approach to Examine the Identity of a Chinese Worker in Japan Aiming to Obtaining Permanent Residency
Yoshio NAKAI
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2017 Volume 16 Issue 1 Pages 116-134


Currently, there is an upward trend in the number of Chinese visiting Japan. Many of them who come to study stay on for more than 10 years to work in Japan. This paper uses an interview approach to examine the identity of a male Chinese worker who has been living in Japan for more than 10 years. The life story interview reveals the way his life events have determined his present identity. His identity has been constructed through a series of negotiations with the societies and communities in China and Japan. His identity carved out of his success in studying abroad is affected by the “master narrative” in China. This success is reformed in the context of his life in Japan because underlying it is the influence of constraints experienced while living in another country, his significant others, and their shared “model story” of running a company within the community of Chinese residents. In this paper, I elaborate on how his identity in his quest for work in Japan is constructed by his surroundings.

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© 2017 Japanese Association of Qualitative Psychology
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