Trans-Asia As Method Seminar Series -Rethinking “cultural adaptation” and “ethnic community” in the age of mobility

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Date(s) - 22/08/2014
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm

JSC Auditorium, Building 54 (next to the bus loop),



 Trans-Asia As Method Seminar Series

 Rethinking “cultural adaptation” and “ethnic community” in the age of mobility

 Jointly organized with Monash Asia Institute, Japanese Studies Centre & Asian Cultural and Media Studies Research Cluster

  Featuring two empirical research presentations, this seminar will reconsider key concepts in the study of migration and discuss the possibility of innovative theorization from the perspective of trans-Asian mobility.


 “Media Use by Foreign Students in Chinese Universities in the Process ofCultural Adaptation”

 Presented by: Runping ZHU – Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, China, Visiting scholar at the School of Media, Film and Journalism, Monash University

 This paper examines the changing use of media by international students (mostly from Japan, Korea and African countries) as their cultural adaptation process unfolds when they start a new life in China. It builds on the transitional media use model to develop a set of eight hypotheses on how students would shift the type of media used and the content accessed on media over the course of cultural adaptation. While there have been few studies on the use of media in cultural adaptation by international students specifically, a number of studies have looked at media use in this context by immigrants. The hypotheses draw on conclusions of these previous studies. Qualitative and quantitative data was then collected to test the hypotheses. The results supported four of the suppositions while four were not supported by the data. The outcomes may be the result of several factors but the most significant is probably the rapid change in types of media and media content available to students now. The modern international student cohort, with greater access to media and greater facility in using media for multiple purposes, has very different experiences in terms of media usage than the groups examined in previous cultural adaptation studies. The cultural adaptation goals of international students may also differ and integration into Chinese culture may be subject to factors not present in integration into cultures looked at in previous studies.

Download a flyer: TransAsia_ Media Use Pt 1_22 Aug

“Ethnic Community” Reconsidered in the Era of Individualisation and Transnationalism: The Case of Japanese Migrants in Sydney”

 Presented by: Jun NAGATOMO – School of International Studies, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan

The contemporary Japanese middle class is increasingly moving across national boundaries. In major cities of the world live a diverse range of Japanese residents such as: retirement visa holders, working holiday-makers, overseas students, professionals, and those married to foreign nationals. The majority of these overseas Japanese residents migrate looking for a different lifestyle and way of life to that which they would have had in Japan. Such motivations to migrate do not neatly fit the push and pull factors thought to influence migration in traditional socio-structural models in migration theory. Since the 1990’s Japan has been going through a recession and social transformation, where increasing individualisation and greater flexibility in life course choices have emerged as prominent issues for members of the middle class. In this social transformation, the stable life course enjoyed by the Japanese middle class has collapsed. Scholars have identified various new types of “migrants” from Japan, which are said to have emerged as a result of these trends such as the “self-searching migrants” (Kato, 2009)”, “cultural migrants” (Fujita, 2009), and “Sotokomori (withdrawing from society by moving abroad)” (Shimokawa, 2007). Drawing on these perspectives, the Japanese migrants in Sydney who participated in this study can be seen as part of a broader group of mobile middle class Japanese living overseas. The ethnographic study focuses on Japanese people’s involvement with their community and provides theoretical interpretations on ethnic community in the age of individualisation and transnationalism.

Download a Flyer: TransAsia_Media Use Pt2_22 Aug

Date: 12-2:30pm, 22 August (Friday)

Venue: Japanese Studies Centre Auditorium, G17 building 54,

Monash University Clayton Campus

RSVP for catering purposes: Light lunch and refreshment will be served before & after the seminar 


Bookings are closed for this event.