Pivoting on the imagery : life stories and identity narratives of Japanese women in Hawaiʻi

Kitamura, Aya
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This thesis aims to reconstruct the lives, experiences and identities ofJapanese women sPecifically in the women's own terms. In order to depart from the scholarly dilemma, seen among existing ethnographic studies, to pivot on the stereotypical images intended to undermine, it analyzes the original interview data, exploring the life stories and identity narratives of thirty Japanese women currently living in Hawai'i. Applying the theory of performative identity and the method of self-reflexive ethnography, the analysis inquires: Are the women entrapped within what has been projected as "the Japanese woman"-be it the domestic ideology of "good wife, wise mother" or the Orientalist stereotype of "Madame Butterfly"-or in what alternative ways do they live the imagery? By paying attention to the multiplicity and complexity of their narratives, this thesis highlights the women's agency to negotiate and subvert, if not fully abolish, "the Japanese woman," a shifting and ambivalent pivot.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2004.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 133-140).
iv, 140 leaves, bound 29 cm
Japanese -- Hawaii, Women -- Hawaii, Identity (Psychology), Social role
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