The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of long-term overstay experience of the ‘foreign workers’ on their stress-coping and to examine the role of the mutual-help organization from the perspective of community psychology.
Sixty-two male ‘foreign workers’ from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Iran who had engaged in manual labor participated semi-structured interview. Through the interview, their perceived difficulties in daily life in Japan and coping strategies with these difficulties were collected. Participant observation was also conducted at the volunteer group in order to understand the role of the mutual-help organization.
The result showed that some participants suffered from loss of sense of control over their life as a result of long-term overstay experience and showed powerlessness. The mutual help organization served to empower participants by providing opportunities for them to obtain critical understanding of the surroundings, to have strong sense of community as ‘foreign workers’, and to have meaningful social role within the group.