The notion of "heritage" has become one of the global tropes in recent years. At the heart of heritage politics are three questions: what heritage is, who decides what it is, and for whom is the decision made. However, existing work on heritage language has rarely tackled these questions, assuming that teaching children of migrants their "heritage language" empowers them.
This book challenges this assumption, situating the notion of heritage language in the host society’s involvement in social justice, nation-building efforts, (superficial) celebration of diversity, and investment on global links the migrants offer as well as the migrants’ fear of discrimination and desire for belonging, social status, and economic gain. Based on ethnographic research in Bolivia, Peru, the United States, and Japan, the book illuminates the complexity and political nature of determining what constitutes heritage language for migrants with connections to Japan. This volume opens up a new field of investigation in heritage language studies: the complex linkage between heritage language and social justice for migrants.
This book was published as a special issue of Critical Asian Studies.
1. Introduction Neriko Musha Doerr 2. Learning to Be Transnational: Japanese Language Education for Bolivia’s Okinawan Diaspora Taku Suzuki 3. Conflicted Attitudes toward Heritage: Heritage Language Learning of Returnee Adolescents from Japan at a Nikkei School in Lima, Peru Yuri Yamasaki 4. Heritage: Owned or Assigned? The Cultural Politics of Teaching Heritage Language in Osaka, Japan Yuko Okubo 5. Inheriting "Japanese-ness" Diversely: Heritage Practices at a Weekend Japanese Language School in the United States Neriko Doerr and Kiri Lee 6. Rethinking Japanese American "Heritage" in the Homeland Ayako Takamori 7. Afterword: Japan-related Linguistic Intervention Laura Miller 8. Afterword: Cross-Cultural Implications of Japanese Heritage Language Policies and Practices Krista E. Van Vleet 9. Afterword: "Dreaming in…English?" The Complexity and Unexpectedness of Japanese Being and Becoming through Language Barbra A. Meek