Becoming “One of Us”: Social Markers of Acculturation in Japan and Five Countries

Venue: Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, room B34
Booking details: Free entry; booking recommended

Professor Adam Komisarof, Faculty of Letters, Keio University

Professor Adam Komisarof will share his latest research findings about social markers of acculturation (SMA) in Japan (and beyond). SMA constitute culturally-constructed criteria, in this case among Japanese people, for accepting immigrants in society to the same extent that they do native-born Japanese. SMA include specific types of knowledge and skills (such as “Japanese common sense” or language proficiency), attitudes, attributes, and adherence to behavioral norms. Prof. Komisarof will not only identify the SMA most important to Japanese participants in his study, but also explain the predictors (such as perceived threat or intercultural contact) that most prominently influenced which markers they deemed important. Finally, he will present SMA in a broader context, comparing his findings in Japan to those in 5 other countries: Germany, Singapore, Finland, Canada, and Australia.


Adam Komisarof is a Full Professor of Intercultural Communication and Acculturation in Keio University's Faculty of Letters in Tokyo. Prof. Komisarof spent a sabbatical at the University of Oxford (2012-13), where he served as a Senior Associate Member of St. Antony’s College and conducted research as a Visiting Academic at the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies. He is the author of 3 books, most recently Crossing Boundaries and Weaving Intercultural Work, Life, and Scholarship in Globalizing Universities (Routledge, with Prof. Zhu Hua). Other recent publications include a chapter of The Cambridge Handbook of Acculturation Psychology, 2nd edition(Cambridge University Press, with Chan Hoong-Leong) about acculturation in East and Southeast Asia. Prof. Komisarof is a Fellow and an Executive Board member of the International Academy for Intercultural Research.

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