Intercultural experience facilitates majority-group acculturation through ethnocultural empathy: Evidence from a mixed-methods investigation in Japan

Soyhan EGITIM*, Plamen AKALIYSKI

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present two-phased sequential exploratory mixed-methods study investigated majority-group members’ acculturation through pre-tertiary Japanese teachers’ experiences with children of Kurdish asylum-seekers in school settings. In Study 1, we employed an interpretative phenomenological analysis to understand and make meaning of the personal experiences of nine Japanese pre-tertiary teachers from a majority-group acculturation perspective. The qualitative data suggested a link between the participants’ intercultural contact experience, ethnocultural empathy, and receptiveness to majority-group acculturation. Furthermore, the acculturative changes experienced by the majority-group members appeared to influence institutional changes. Subsequently, we tested these relationships in quantitative analysis with a sample of 110 Japanese school teachers in Study 2. We used a survey informed by the works of Wang et al.’s (2003) Ethnocultural Empathy scale and Kunst et al.’s (2023) Majority-Group Acculturation scale. The results confirmed the positive association between intercultural contact experience, ethnocultural empathy, and majority-group members’ acculturation. We conclude that promoting multiculturalism in school settings may have long-term benefits for both majority and minority group members within the Japanese context despite potential adversities involved in regular intercultural contact.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101908
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Volume98
Early online date9 Nov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

We sincerely thank the special issue editors, the reviewers, and Dr. Adam Komisarof for taking the time to review our manuscript and providing constructive feedback and valuable suggestions. Futhermore, we would like to extend our sincere appreciation to all the participants for giving their time to participate in in-person interviews and surveys to contribute to this research study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Asylum-seekers
  • Ethnocultural empathy
  • Intercultural experience
  • Japanese teachers
  • Majority-group acculturation

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