Support of Multiculturalism, But For Whom? Effects of Ethno-National Identity on the Endorsement of Multiculturalism in Japan

Kikuko Nagayoshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examines whether support for multiculturalism is compatible with an ethnonational identity in Japan. Multiculturalism discourses have centred on the issue of how to treat cultural diversity within a society. In Japan, the concept of multiculturalism has become popular over the past decade. However, some researchers think that the Japanese maintain their privileged position by essentialising cultural differences in the name of multiculturalism. My study therefore investigates the relationship between ethnonational identity, the endorsement of multiculturalism and supportive attitudes toward the equal rights of ethnic minorities by employing Japanese data from an international public-opinion survey. It was found that ethno-national identity has positive effects on the endorsement of multiculturalism, while having negative effects on the endorsement of equal rights between ethnic majorities and ethnic minorities. This means that the Japanese do not regard multiculturalism as antithetical to the maintenance of ethnic homogeneity within a 'nation'; rather, the endorsement of multiculturalism stems from belief in the uniqueness of 'Japaneseness'. The theoretical and political implications of this study's results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-578
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Apr 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ethno-nationalism
  • Exclusionary attitudes
  • Japan
  • Multiculturalism
  • National identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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