An evaluation of the extent to which expatriates immerse themselves in to new cultures: Case study of Japan
Bee, Dayna May
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of this study is to analyse to what extent expatriates immerse themselves in to an unfamiliar culture, specifically in Japan. The literature explored expatriation, culture, Japan, cultural awareness and challenges of immersion. Using the provided literature review discovered a gap within the knowledge on expats immersing in unfamiliar cultures and to what extent they do when they relocate somewhere new. The study will focus on whether the expatriates have interacted with Japan, made an effort with the country and culture, what Japan is like as an expatriate destination and the participants opinions on immersion. The investigation was completed through the use of a questionnaire to gather primary data to evaluate and achieve the aim and all objectives and furthermore come to a conclusion concerning the research question. The questionnaire intended to discover whether expats networked and integrated with Japan and the inhabitants, if they tried to adopt and learn about the country and culture, the importance of integrating in the Japanese culture and whether they immersed, how and why. The questionnaires supported ideas from the literature review about the importance of immersing to the new culture and contradicted Osberg’s model of adaptation, believing culture shock was the main phase of adopting a new culture. The study found that expats want to be able to immerse in to the Japanese culture and that majority do without being able to further extend their immersion due to the language barrier. Although, it was speculated that some expatriates are ethnocentric, believing their culture is more superior, which is why some were not bothered to immerse and ignored the culture. The researcher suggests further research must be applied to whether the barrier to full immersion, such as language barrier as stated previously, prevents expatriates to fully immerse or whether not knowing a language entirely can still be consider as immersion.
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