Interpersonal Relationship Formation Between Muslim Migrants in the U.S. and their Hosts: A Comparison with Muslims in Japan (79153)

Session Information:

Tuesday, 26 March 2024 15:30
Session: Poster Session 2
Room: Orion Hall (5F)
Presentation Type: Poster Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Previous case studies have shown that Muslims in Japan face difficulties building interpersonal relationships with their Japanese hosts (Nakano, Okunishi, & Tanaka, 2015). This study builds on this existing research by examining whether the difficulties and strategies shared by Muslims in Japan differ from those in societies with many immigrants and people from diverse backgrounds. Therefore, this study qualitatively examined the formation of interpersonal relationship between Muslim immigrants in the US and their American hosts. Findings were compared with prior research from Japan. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 Muslim immigrants in the US, using the same questions as those used to examine Muslims in Japan. The informants ranged from teenage students to working adults in their 60s. They were asked about their interpersonal relationships in the US, including difficulties in social interactions and tips and strategies for forming relationships with local people. The results showed that they did not experience the same troubles Muslims tend to experience in Japan, such as peer pressure and difficulties in explaining Islam to their local hosts. Although they perceived cultural differences in communication styles and relationship building, they expressed less discomfort in interpersonal interactions than Muslims in Japan did. These differences suggest that the contrast between American society, which values individuality and accepts differences, and Japanese society, which favors collectivism, affects the types of difficulties encountered. Future research is needed to make comparisons through quantitative research based on these results.

Sachiko Nakano, Yamaguchi University, Japan
Kira Adams, Yamaguchi University, Japan

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Sachiko Nakano is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at Yamaguchi University in Japan

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00