Outline of the Project

  1. Toppage
  2. Outline of the Project

Group 1

Group 1 is engaged in empirical study of migration in the Asia-Pacific region, with particular attention to the differences between the destinations and the countries the immigrants leave behind. Group 1's research in this area focuses on systemic and economic aspects, as well as the finer points such as information and culture. Specifically, the group compares the immigration policies of Australia, the various countries of Asia and the Pacific islands with those of Japan, and examines the background to the increase in the number of migrants and migrant workers in the Asia-Pacific region and the rise of personal-level conflicts that occur as a result.

Group 1 will study cultural conflict such as the conflict and human rights issues that arise as a result of friction between existing social policies and the contact with other cultures and societal changes that occur when there is movement of people. The group will further seek to understand the possibility of reconciliation of the conflicting parties and the creation of multicultural societies.

The primary objective of Group 1 is to see migrants as a phenomenon and to identify the mechanism of local-level cultural change brought on by that phenomenon. The group seeks to bring the hidden conflicts caused by those changes out into the open and study processes for reaching reconciliation among parties to conflict.

Group 2

Group 2 will study the issue of language, a fundamental part of any group dynamics and inextricably linked with local-level conflicts. Given that language is a core factor because it allows dialogue by a variety of methods, and given that we have a situation where there are societal and cultural changes wrought by the movement of people and, at the same time, moves to solidify political and economic systems, Group 2 will serve to link the work of Groups 1 and 3. (Group 1 researches cultural changes and civil society and Group 3 studies cultural systemization, nation states and markets.)

Specifically, Group 2 will conduct empirical study of how conflict is generated by (1) the relatively un-systemized, personal-level communication between individual people; (2) the somewhat systemized language education policy; and (3) most systemized of all, the national-level language policies. The group will seek to identify how these conflicts can (or cannot) be drawn to reconciliation and the creation of multicultural society.

Group 3

Group 3 will focus primarily on the strength of the forces for systemization and solidification aimed at establishing the sovereignty of nation states or maximization of wealth by economic agents. The group's secondary focus will be on verification of whether or not and how the cultural and lingual changes brought about by the movement of people influence and spark change these systemizing and solidifying forces and vice versa.

In analysing these points, the group will conduct various historical studies of the relationship between the nation state and multicultural society, as well as efforts to create a public forum that goes beyond the bounds of the concept of nationhood. Furthermore, Group 3 will re-examine the wealth of knowledge regarding conflict available in the fields of sociology, international relations, gender research and citizenship and study their applicability in a global context. Through these studies, Group 3 seeks to throw light on the relationship between nations and markets in the Asia-Pacific region and the potential for establishment multicultural societies.

Conceptual drawing of research fields

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Meanwhile, Group 2 will analyse numerous methods of dialogue at three distinct levels: (1) personal-level communication between individual people; (2) the somewhat systemized, mid-level language education policy; and (3) most systemized of all, the national-level language policies. The research of Group 2 relates to that of Groups 1 and 3 as illustrated in the diagram, and together they form four "vectors" of dialogue.

Participation in Dialogue by Migrants

This is the vector in which migrants seek to overcome the various issues they encounter in their new countries of residence by communicating and negotiating with existing local communities.

Acceptance of Existing Systems through Dialogue

The influence of existing social norms on migrants' ways of thinking and living.

Control of Dialogue by Systems

Demands made by a range of factors such as existing laws, economic customs and social rules via language policy, language education policy and communication networks that migrants accept existing systems.

Change to Systems through Dialogue

The influence on the laws, political systems, economic customs and social rules of existing societies, including nations and the international community.

In conclusion, the main topic of this research project is the matter of how conflict, which may arise when there is direct friction between migrants and existing systems, can be led to reconciliation through dialogue, which may use a variety of methods. Through careful research--with an emphasis on dialogue--into the relationship between, on the one hand, social and cultural change brought about by the movement of people and, on the other, movements to systemize politics and economics, we hope to make policy suggestions.