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ERIC Number: EJ1031267
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1931-3152
Race in Conflict with Heritage: "Black" Heritage Language Speaker of Japanese
Doerr, Neriko Musha; Kumagai, Yuri
International Multilingual Research Journal, v8 n2 p87-103 2014
"Heritage language speaker" is a relatively new term to denote minority language speakers who grew up in a household where the language was used or those who have a family, ancestral, or racial connection to the minority language. In research on heritage language speakers, overlap between these 2 definitions is often assumed--that is, there has been little research on the situation in which a heritage language speaker's perceived race does not match the language often associated with the race. This article analyzes such a case by focusing on the reception in Japan of Jero, an "African American" male singer who sings Japanese songs and speaks fluent Japanese. Although his grandmother was Japanese and, thus, he is "a quarter Japanese," he has been described as a "Black ('kokujin') singer" in the Japanese media, and received much attention about his ability to sing in and speak Japanese. By analyzing the comments left on YouTube clips regarding Jero's TV appearances, the authors urge researchers to be aware of the effects of perceived race that may overwhelm, even challenge, one's association with the heritage language. The authors call for developing a theoretical approach, as well as pedagogies, for such situations.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan