Yuka Abe

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Ralph LaRossa - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Toshi Kii

Third Advisor

Dr. Elisabeth Burgess


Japanese fathers residing abroad have not been given much attention in Japanese scholarship. In this study, I examine how Japanese fathers in the United States negotiate between Japanese and American cultural expectations regarding fatherhood. Relying on a symbolic interactionist perspective, and through qualitative research involving in-depth interviews with 24 Japanese fathers who live in the United States for business, I focus on the men's culture, conduct, and self-identification. My interviews suggest that Japanese fathers who temporarily stay in the United States usually adhere to Japanese culture and, accordingly, live up to Japanese expectations of fatherhood. Thus, paternal modifications influenced by expectations from close associates are due not to their embracing American fatherhood, but rather to their "situational adjustment." Ultimately, this is a study of cognitive boundaries and of how people decide to internalize cultural expectations different than their own.

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