Accepted Paper:

Where you belong: migrant adaptation and ethnic Filipino community life in Kanto  


Jeorge Jr Alarcon (Waseda University)

Paper short abstract:

An exploratory study of Filipino organizations and migrant adaptation in the Kanto region of Japan.

Paper long abstract:

Close to half of the over 200,000 registered Filipinos in Japan are in the Kanto area. Within this region, there are 17 Filipino migrant organizations operating under the umbrella of the Philippine Assistance Group (PAG) as well as several other migrant support and religious organizations. In a supposedly migrant-restrictive environment operating on a differential exclusivist incorporation policy, what role do these organizations play in the Filipino community life and migrant adaptation? Looking at the organizational activities of Filipino migrants in Kanto, this paper will explore the role they play in the Filipino community in general and the lives of their members in particular. It will be argued that there are different levels of adaptation migrants must realize to be able to navigate and negotiate their existence in a foreign land and that their involvement in various community groups did not simply allow them to engage in helping other migrants but also gave them the opportunity to recreate in the process the familiar imaginary of the home and to reflect on their personal struggles in Japan. Discourse analysis and strategic fields theory will be employed to analyze the data from ethnographic and semi-structured interviews with the leaders and members of Filipino migrant groups and participant observations of their activities.

Panel P047
Migration of culture across organizations and communities