Varying Cosmopolitan Cultural Capital & Privileges: The Comparative Study on the Japanese Migration Agents’ Promotion of Education-Led Mobilities to Hawaii, USA and Southern Johor, Malaysia

Monday, 16 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Hiroki IGARASHI, Chiba University, Japan
As globalization of economy and education has been intensified, varying patterns of international mobilities of families and youth has emerged in order for them to acquire cosmopolitan (or global) cultural capital, which enables ones to achieve upward social mobility in the emerging global social stratification. For Japanese families, the education-led international mobilities towards English-speaking West such as Hawaii, USA, has been predominantly known in the past two decades. But a newer mobility to Asia, such as the area of Southern Johor, Malaysia, has been recently emerged since 2010s. This study, comparing patterns of Japanese migration agents’ promotion of education-led international mobilties to Hawaii and Southern Johor investigate how the meanings on kinds of skills children can obtain through international schooling in these two sites have been generated. I first provide a historical analysis on how the phenomenon on the education-led migration started in Japan since 1990s mainly to Hawaii, and how the options of migration to Asia has gradually emerged. Next, I argue that families’ choice of education-led mobilities is highly classed—Hawaii is selected as more authentic, prestigious and costly migration destination than Southern Johor. Lastly, I discuss how migration agents define and promote types of cultural capital children can acquire through their international schooling in these two sites. While both places are defined as locations where children can learn cultural tolerance and English, Southern Johor is actively promoted for children to obtain Chinese—an emerging regional cultural capital in the Asia region.