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Hybrid Identities and Adolescent Girls: Being 'Half' in Japan (Critical Language and Literacy Studies) Paperback – December 23, 2009
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This timely, fascinating and academically rigorous book provides a rich contribution to the study of shifting identity, gender and ethnicity and how a linguistic approach can shed light on these. Having lived half of her own life in Japan, and as the parent of a 'multi-ethnic' child, Laurel Kamada writes from a position of strength and understanding. Her study is a qualitative, longitudinal one, drawing on a variety of analytical frameworks. The data shows us the lived experiences of these 'multi-ethnic' girls, from their tribulations to their celebrations of self. Importantly, Kamada never underestimates the fine-grained complexity of her topic.(Jane Sunderland, Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University, UK)
Mixed-race identities in Japan pose a host of intriguing questions that need to be demystified. Hybrid Identities and Adolescent Girls presents a groundbreaking study that addresses intersections of race, gender, class, and language among teen girls of Caucasian and Japanese heritage. Kamada’s fascinating analysis enables the readers to understand how “doubleness” not only constitutes their Japanese/White identities but also signifies dual meanings of bullied/envied, grotesque/cool, and othered/privileged. This unique study provides the field with innovative knowledge.(Ryoko Kubota, University of British Columbia, Canada)
This is a ground-breaking study in that it is the first attempt ever to investigate hybrid identity construction among ‘half-Japanese’ girls in Japan. It also offers a timely and valuable contribution to the field of discourse and identity by identifying a largely under-researched area. Overall, Kamada’s book is a solid, well-written and insightful text, and the study is well grounded in careful and rigorous data analysis as well as detailed descriptions of the author’s observations. Despite the complex ideas the book contains, it is written in a clear and highly accessible style. I would strongly recommend the book to scholars who are interested in or engaged in research on language and identity, language and gender, discourse analysis, and bilingualism and multilingualism.(Isamar Coromoto Carrillo Masso, National Institute for Excellence in the Creative Industries, Bangor University, UK Discourse Studies 13(2) 263-274, 2011)
This review has highlighted only a few key aspects of this intriguing study. Those with an interest in identity, gender and ethnicity, and interdisciplinary discourse analysis will undoubtedly find that this book is well written, thought provoking and extremely insightful.(Justin Charlebois, Department of Global Culture and Communication, Aichi Shukutoku University Feminism and Psychology 20(4) 538-567 2011)
As a pioneering text examining the construction of multi-ethnic identities in Japan, Hybrid Identities and Adolescent Girls is an excellent academic work, theoretically and methodologically sound.(John Nevara, Kobe Gakuin University JALT Journal 33.1, May 2011)
About the Author
Laurel D. Kamada is a Lecturer Professor at Tohoku University in Japan. She has published in such areas as: bilingualism and multiculturalism in Japan; gender and ethnic studies; marginalised (hybrid and gendered) identities in Japan; and discourses of ethnic embodiment and masculinity. Her other interests include theoretical and methodological discourse analytic approaches to the examination of identity. She serves on the editorial board of the Japan Journal of Multilingualism and Multiculturalism and is on the Advisory Council of the International Gender and Language Association.
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