Social Networks and Conjugal Interaction in Japanese Expatriate Families

Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Room: 511
Rika TAKAMARU , The Graduate School of Humanities and Sciences, Ochanomizu University, Tokyo, Japan
International assignment of Japanese businessmen has been expanding in corporate career management system most during the 1980s by reason of the rapidly-expanding economy in Japan. That career management system was only for men’s status position until the Equal Employment Opportunity Law in 1999. Therefore from back then there are the norms of the expatriate housewife as caretaker of the family; not only she provides a comfortable home environment so that husband can concentrate on his job, but also entertains the corporate clients at Japanese style party.

The characteristic of Expatriate Family is the family who transferred abroad by assignment of the company, that is their social networks change radically every few years. Thus in the new and cross-culture land, the foreign conjugal have no choice but to rely on spouse each other.

In Japanese Expatriate Family research, much attention has paid on gender perspective and wives’ career development, even though there are few studies focusing on conjugal interaction. This research investigates how expatriate conjugal forms social networks in overseas focusing their relationship, cognition of belonging to the corporation and family resource effects.

A questionnaire survey was conducted in advance to expatriate housewives, based on which semi-structured interviews were conducted. The data used to a case-code matrix through constant comparison.

This study found that Japanese Expatriate Housewives experience three phases as the process of the friendship network formation. At the first phase, wives need husband’s company tie to adjust new-life, and from the second phase to third phase, wives share their partner with the association which creates themselves networks.

In presentation, I will report the interviews data which carry out the expatriate couples every 3 to 4 months.