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Grant number like: FO-50118-10

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Christopher Bondy
DePauw University (Greencastle, IN 46135-1736)

Fellowships for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$29,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2011 – 3/31/2012

Beyond the Buraku: The Negotiation of Burakumin Identity in Contemporary Japan

The burakumin, an "invisible" Japanese minority, present a paradox about Japanese identity, with implications for the study of stigmatized identities more generally. My longitudinal project examines how youth learn of their buraku background, and explores the negotiation of identity from youth to adulthood. The first completed stage, based on interviews with 40 youth, examined the role of school and community in shaping a buraku identity. In the second stage of research, I will resume interviews with the 40 informants (now in their early 20s) and pay particular attention to issues surrounding marriage and employment, where previous research suggests discrimination is at its most severe. I will use the remaining time to complete the book manuscript. Providing a study of how minorities manage a stigmatized identity over time broadens the audience of the work beyond Japanese studies to a wider social science audience.