The Cultural Child Grows Up
Part 1. How Molly Grows Up
We’ve now given you all the pieces you need to understand the process of moving off your entry point, shifting from ‘I’ to ‘uchi ‘, and growing up. But something crucial is still missing. You still can’t see how this process works until it comes alive as someone actually navigates through these cultural hazards. The Flash segment below shows Molly’s homestay with the Saito Family from the 7.1 Gallery. You can see how she navigates each of the hazards depicted in Modules 8-10, how each barrier she overcomes propels her forward (to the next barrier). And how her learning process actually connects up all these cultural hazards into a stepping stone pathway. This pathway is how Molly moves from her entry point to ‘uchi’ , and how she reaches cultural adulthood as well.
Part 2. How Can You Grow Up?
Anyone going on a homestay can utilize this same sequence of hazard-doors from the entry point onwards. Although you may not move all the way to “Uchi Ties” (as was true for most of the guests in the homestay gallery), any movement you make will give you considerable insight. While the number of hazards may vary considerably, the sequence outlined above is consistent, since you have to manage the earlier hazards (such as beginning to help, and dealing with the expert) before you can grasp the increasing difficulties of the hazards in adapting to uchi. This gives you a kind of roadmap for what growing up looks like in the homestay context.
Beyond the Homestay
Although the Hazard-Door pathway above was formulated from the homestay student cases, it turns out to be highly relevant for all the other newcomers as well. This trajectory—and the same set of hazard-doors—also maps the way in which the cultural child grows up for the university student, the ALT, the company employee, the spouse, and all the others. Yet for each of these newcomers, the context they are entering—a company, university, or junior high school—differs from that of a homestay family. How do we take into account both the similarities and differences in the trajectory to cultural adulthood for each of the newcomer contexts? In Part 4 we will develop pathways to cultural adulthood for each of the other newcomer situations.
Before you go on to Part 4, don’t forget to click on the feedback icon and complete the feedback for Part 3 below. Thank you!