Amit - Chapter 02 | eBooks | Non-Fiction

Amit - Chapter 02

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Buy and Download Description The otherwise abstract notion of gurobaruka, or "globalization," often becomes concrete reality to middle-class Japanese families in the form of a job assignment in the United States and other foreign locations. Almost all Japanese workers and managers who are sent out on these foreign assignments are men; therefore, when middle-class Japanese women talk about a possibility of temporary migration to a foreign country "on a job assignment," they are usually referring to their husbands.1 But they also know that, as wives and mothers, they are expected to play a major role during this corporate-driven migration: to create and maintain "Japanese" homes away from home and make a foreign country a livable place for their families. This domestic work of expatriate Japanese wives in the context of Japanese transnational capitalism is the focus of my current discussion. I aim to contribute to the growing body of anthropological literature on global movement and travel in three particular areas. First, I focus on the families of highly mobile transnational professionals whose transnational experiences have received relatively little anthropological attention thus far (cf., Hannerz 1998; Ribeiro 1994; White 1992; Wulff 1998). If the experience of transnationality is class-specific, the mobility practices of those who are relatively affluent and privileged are expected to differ significantly from those who are not—labor migrants and refugees, for example (Friedman 1999). Their mobility practices are often flexible and wide-ranging, utilizing the material resources and privilege granted to many in this category of sojourner/migrants, which defy easy categorization. Somewhere between "sojourning" and "migrating," the study of transnationally mobile Japanese corporate families will shed new light on the increasingly flexible mobility practices and identity formation in the late capitalist world. The otherwise abstract notion of gurobaruka, or "globalization," often becomes concrete reality to middle-class Japanese families in the form of a job assignment in the United States and other foreign locations. Almost all Japanese workers and man
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