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Crossing Boundaries: Transnational Workers Breaking the Rice Paper Ceiling in Japan and Beyond
- Adam Komisarof (Professor of Intercultural Communication and Acculturation in Reitaku University's Department of Economic Studies and Business Administration)
At this event, Dr. Adam Komisarof will share discoveries about how to build a satisfying life working and living abroad from his new book, Crossing Boundaries and Weaving Intercultural Work, Life, and Scholarship in Globalizing Universities (published by Routledge and co-edited with Zhu Hua, Birkbeck College, University of London). Chapters from intercultural scholars in ten different countries (on five continents) are analyzed to uncover how these professors have effectively integrated into their universities, making them feel a sense of belonging and inclusion while empowering them to actualize fully their professional skills. Though this book is geared towards those working in academia, Professor Komisarof will also draw broader implications for living and working abroad to make this presentation relevant for professionals in the audience who work outside of academia.
Dr. Komisarof will begin by describing a new psychological acculturation framework that helps people to make sense of their working lives abroad. The framework examines two dimensions of their experiences: 1. the extent to which they feel accepted by other cultural groups in the workplace, and 2. the extent to which they feel included as members of their work organizations. Considering these two dimensions simultaneously results in four profiles that people can experience when working abroad: Marginalized Outsider, Alien, Assimilated Member, and Integrated Member.
To illustrate these profiles, Professor Komisarof will analyze when he broke the notorious “Rice Paper Ceiling” (a barrier akin to a glass ceiling for foreigners working in Japanese work organizations) as a member of his university’s administration, showing how he and his Japanese colleagues ultimately built a highly effective intercultural team. Dr. Komisarof will also describe his book’s main findings about transnational, transcultural academics around the world as well as professions outside of academia. He will vividly illustrate the coping strategies successfully employed by transnational workers to create inclusive workplaces for themselves and effectively manage many of the challenges of living abroad.
Professor of Intercultural Communication and Acculturation in Reitaku University's Department of Economic Studies and Business Administration
Dr. Adam Komisarof is a Professor of Intercultural Communication and Acculturation in Reitaku University’s Department of Economic Studies and Business Administration. During the 2012-13 academic year, Dr. Komisarof served at the University of Oxford as a Senior Associate Member of St. Antony’s College and conducted research as a Visiting Academic at the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies. Dr. Komisarof’s first book, On the Front Lines of Forging a Global Society: Japanese and American Coworkers in Japan, earned him Reitaku University’s Excellence in Research Award. His lectures about his second book, At Home Abroad: The Contemporary Western Experience in Japan, were sponsored by The University of Oxford’s Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, and the Harvard University Club of Japan. His latest book is Crossing Boundaries and Weaving Intercultural Work, Life, and Scholarship in Globalizing Universities (Routledge, with Zhu Hua). Dr. Komisarof is a Fellow and an Executive Board member of the International Academy for Intercultural Research.