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Toward a Theory of Intercultural Place Making: Brazilian Restaurants in Tokyo, Japan

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Item Summary

Title: Toward a Theory of Intercultural Place Making: Brazilian Restaurants in Tokyo, Japan
Authors: Zambonelli, Vera
Issue Date: Dec 2015
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2015]
Abstract: This dissertation develops a theory of intercultural placemaking through the study of Brazilian restaurants in Tōkyō, Japan. In what ways do Brazilian restaurants serve as places of intercultural interaction and understanding between Japanese and Brazilian people in Tōkyō, and how and under what conditions, can urban places, like ethnic restaurants, enable interculturalism were the main research questions that drove this exploratory research. Through these and a related set of questions, I designed this research taking a grounded theory approach using comparative case study as a qualitative method, and used an intercultural lens to examine how each restaurant in this study was made, produced, and experienced – known as the concurrent processes of placemaking.
This process-oriented approach allowed me to distinguish different types of intercultural experience and the overall conditions that contribute to these occurrences in Brazilian restaurants in Tōkyō. Different forms of interculturalism result from significant variation within the main factors that contribute to the experience of the restaurant as a place. These variations could be observed in the characteristics, intentions, motivations and management styles of the proprietors, in where the place was located and how it presented itself in terms of layout, design, usage and activity, and in the characteristics and motivations of the patrons. The orchestration of these various factors affected the type of intercultural interaction and experience occurring within its premises.
Three main types of Brazilian restaurants emerged in relation to interculturalism. These are: ethnic restaurants as places for intercultural encounter through food, mostly of a
commodified nature and of a side-by-side co-existence; ethnic restaurants as places for intercultural exchange that lead to the development of intercultural competence besides food consumption; and ethnic restaurants as places for intercultural engagement where learning, communicating and understanding about Brazil, its culture, and the Brazilians living in Tōkyō is fostered and expected. Based on the findings and acknowledgement of the site-specific circumstances and social relations that allow these places to function as they do, I extracted key factors, conditions and processes and present a theory of intercultural placemaking that could inform the planning process to encourage interculturalism in every place.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2015.
Includes bibliographical references.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/51244
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Urban and Regional Planning


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