The next paragraph is going to be the abstract of my research, so I hope that someone can take a look of it and can check it. (Not only grammatically but also if it make sense, I am not native so I would really appreciate it) All comments, critics, etc are wellcome. Thank you in advance.
Ethnic Media and Identity Construction:
the Case of the Japanese-Peruvian Community in Japan
This study explores the social functions of the ethnic mass media from an empirical approach inside of the Peruvian community settled in Japan, registering and analyzing the areas on which the ethnic media exert their influence over the identities of the Japanese-Peruvian. Founding that the Japanese-Peruvian community are divided in two salient groups, “the nostalgic generation and the young generation”. This itemization responds to their differences in personal backgrounds, language abilities and individual preferences as Japanese-Peruvians struggle to accommodate in the host society. This research also underscores the role that the Ethnic Media have been playing with the production of locality.
As the research shows Japanese-Peruvians are located in a complex social context where they deal with various social dynamics that include connections with the Japanese society, with Peru, and within their own community. In this context, it is important to stress that there is no a unique bounded place where the community perform their activities. Peruvians do not interact within well-defined geographic areas, i.e. they are not structured in the classical sense of a community with face-to-face ethnical correspondence vis-à-vis a ghetto with a homogeneous ethnic population. Japanese-Peruvians live in neighborhoods jointly with households of other nationalities, with an overwhelming majority of Japanese households. In this context the ethnic mass media made its debut in 1994 with the weekly newspaper in Spanish “International Press”. Nowadays we can find them in a variety of forms and range (Newspaper, magazines, online forums, stream television, etc.), which indicates that they not only provide an alternative to a homogenized mainstream media, but (mainly for the nostalgic generation) they have become a powerful instrument from where immigrants obtain useful information for the construction of knowledge about their new environment. Furthermore, the research found that the most important influence that the ethnic media exert in the community rely on the fact that they help to construct physically and symbolically the longing homeland in an unfamiliar setting. According to the results, the members of the nostalgic generation focus their consumption on Peruvian ethnic media in Spanish. It basically responds to the facts that 1) nonetheless Japanese-Peruvians have been living in Japan for many years their Japanese language abilities are still low 2) cultural resistance, which principal manifestation can be observed with the daily consumption of ethnic products and 3) nostalgic feelings to return to the homeland. Simultaneously, the results show that the ethnic media allowed them to continue living within their own culture, to release the anxieties of being a foreigner and to gain update information of the homeland to when the time to return comes. On the basis of the evidences this study posits that the Nostalgic Generation are not integrating to the host society; on the contrary, they are becoming increasingly isolated and remain different from the mainstream society. Meanwhile, the young generation’ social knowledge, values and behavioral modes are modified, influenced and changed as they integrate to the host society.
The data collected to the achievement of this research were extracted from multiple sources. To give detail examination, I employed qualitative methods, including participant observation, interviews (9 Nostalgic Generation and 8 Young Generation), and discourse analysis. This research is also based on the fieldwork done in the shopping center Lev up in Utsunomiya city and the restaurant La Frontera in Oyama city; two places that for the local Japanese-Peruvian community are important ethnic points of reference, both as real places and as symbols of their distinctiveness. In those places many Peruvians gather together and recognize them as symbols of peruanidad (Peruvianess).