Othering around technology: Techno-Orientalism, Techno-Nationalism, and identity formation of Japanese college students in the United States
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This dissertation examines how the representation of technology has been (re)producing, and/or (re)produced by, racial, ethnic, and national identities by drawing on "Japanese" as one concrete example. This examination entails three specific questions (1) how is "Japanese" represented in connection with technology in dominant discourses both in the United States and in Japan, (2) how do Japanese college students in the United States interpret, or "read," such dominant discourses in their daily lives, and (3) how do they (re)construct "Japaneseness" as their own identity through such readings? My approach to these questions involves the analysis of two types of discourses (1) dominant discourses, particularly popular magazines in the United States and advertisements in Japan, which have textually and visually represented the relationship between "Japanese" and technology, and (2) the voices of Japanese students attending a U.S. university as their everyday practices. By analyzing these discourses throughout this dissertation, I examine the representation of technology within the discursive and subjective formations of "Japanese" as a racial/ethnic/national identification. This dissertation conceptually draws upon research in the fields of cultural studies and post-colonial studies, especially the concept of representation in general, and Orientalism and Nationalism as representations of the "Other" and the "Self' in particular. I precisely focus on the relationship between Orientalism and technology (Techno-Orientalism), the relationship between Nationalism and technology (Techno-Nationalism), and the relationship between Techno-Orientalism and Techno-Nationalism. Moreover, considering how Japanese youth living in the United States accept, negotiate with, or reject both dominant discourses, I clarify the intimate relationship between Techno-Orientalism and Techno-Nationalism in global relations. Overall, I examine how the representation of technology has been (re)producing, and/or (re)produced by, Japaneseness under the interrelated gazes of Techno-Orientalism and Techno-Nationalism in an "in-between" place, where Japanese college students in the United States have struggled to (re)construct their own identities.