Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Sociology and Anthropology: Sociology
The objective of this research is to examine how changes in sociopolitical and cultural landscapes affect the cultural and personal identities of individuals engaged in mixed heritage relationships. I examine relationships between Japanese women and American men to illustrate that the wider socio-political contexts of these individuals play key roles in how they view and portray themselves in relation to others; as Japanese, American, both, or neither.
This research is divided into two distinct periods, one before WWII and a second after WWII. For each of these periods, I examined the relevant socio-political and cultural circumstances which affected Japanese and American mixed-heritage couples. These ranged from international relations to the treatment of both Japanese and American communities in the United States and Japan.
For the post-war period, I utilized a series of interviews with men and women who were engaged in mixed heritage relationships. In these 40-50-minute-long semi-structured ethnographic interviews, participants were asked about many aspects of their daily lives and relationships. These questions ranged from simple ones about the type of food each couple ate in the home to more complex questions dealing with religion, relationships, and community identity. From these interviews and previous research in the field, I was able to draw conclusions about identity formation and maintenance in these relationships.
Schaer, Alec Bryan, "International Marriages: Culture, Identity Formation, Social and Historical Context" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 1307.