Situational Shifting of Ethnic Identity Seen Among Korean Youths in Japan

Naoki Taira, Hitomi Kawamoto, Yong Gun Shin, Shun Ya Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study attempted to investigate the nature of Korean youths' ethnic identity by asking the choice of names in varieties of socio-cultural and interpersonal situations. Respondents were 93 Korean students, born in Japan, attending Japanese colleges, and participating in a meeting held by a Korean association at the time of the survey. The results showed that while approximately a quarter of the respondents chose only their Korean names (type I), the rest chose their Korean names with Japanese pronunciation (type II), or Japanese names (type III) along with their Korean names depending on the situation. The choice of names was related to psychololgical conflicts felt in a given situation: They tended to choose the name that caused less conflicting feelings. Their fundamental ethnic identity appeared strong regardless of the different types of the use of names although the maintenance of their ethno-cultural factors was the weakest among those occasionally choosing Japanese names. The results were discussed in relation to socio-cultural and interpersonal nature of identity, and the concept of situational shifting of ethnic identity was introduced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-391
Number of pages12
JournalJapanese Journal of Educational Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • ethnic emblems
  • ethnic identity
  • Korean name vs. Japanese name
  • Koreans in Japan
  • situational shifting of ethnic identity


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