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Illness Metaphors, Japan's “Gaijin” Race Philosophy, and the Formation of the Self

Studies in Symbolic Interaction

ISBN: 978-1-78052-156-5, eISBN: 978-1-78052-157-2

Publication date: 14 October 2011


The question I am seeking answers to is whether or not we have the ability to re-make ourselves into another person. The research subject is me. More to the point, can I, a white woman of Northern European descent, truly become a member of the Japanese society that I grew to love? My methodological approach to this question is a mixed evocative and analytical autoethnography. Within these pages is a complex tale of illness, racism, and sexual discrimination and how they intersect to create a self. From this creation come the questions of un-creation and re-creation; can I deconstruct my self and identity so as to reconstruct who I want to be? Will my reconstruction be supported by my chosen society? Can I truly belong somewhere, anywhere?


Bell, S. (2011), "Illness Metaphors, Japan's “Gaijin” Race Philosophy, and the Formation of the Self", Denzin, N.K. and Faust, T. (Ed.) Studies in Symbolic Interaction (Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 37), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 163-193.



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