Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/123420
Type: Thesis
Title: Cooperation
Author: Chuang, Ying Xuan
Issue Date: 2020
School/Discipline: School of Humanities : English and Creative Writing
Abstract: The Self and the Other binary can be explained as such: that which is not the same as the group (Self) is the Other. However, what happens if this Self travels outside the boundary of the group and becomes a minority (Other) in another group? For example, when West meets East. After cross-cultural interaction and communication, is he a Self, an “Other”, or is another Self formed? Scholars suggest that the boundaries between the Self and the “Other” are complex, layered and blurred (Derrida Grammatology 73; Napier 42; Hijiya-Kirschnereit 23) and conflicts may also arise, resulting in an identity-crisis. Cultural theorists further suggest that the Self/Other binary is also nullified by cross-cultural interaction (Kumar 84; Hall 277; Dagnino 11). In the context of Japanese Workplace Literature (salaryman novels), how then are the Self and the Other constructed by Western and Japanese authors? In particular, how is the identity of the marginalised “Other” portrayed in salaryman novels? After analysing and comparing two salaryman novels written in Japanese by Japanese writers: Princess Toyotomi (Makime Manabu) and Fushouji (Ikeido Jun); and two salaryman novels written in English by Western writers Fear and Trembling (Amelie Nothomb) and The Blue-eyed Salaryman (Niall Murtagh), it seems that Western writers are appear more conflicted about the ambivalent and ambiguous Self/Other in the Japanese context than the Japanese writers are. This thesis thus attempts to fill the research gaps in the analysis of Japanese workplace literature by Western and Japanese writers in terms of how the Self and Other of “Others” are constructed. It also proposes that the construction, conflict and hence confusion of Self and Other are not only due to the differences between Western-centric and Japanese-centric theories of Self/Other, but also due to the Japanese concept of “honne-tatemae”, the indoctrinated salaryman identity (a Japanese Self that can be learnt, crafted and performed) and the way the salaryman genre tends to portray the marginalised “Other” in novels. Furthermore, Westerners’ negotiation between Western and Japanese culture adds further confusion to their formation of identity. Also part of this thesis is Cooperation, an experimental slice-of-life salaryman novel. The exegesis, thus, attempts to situate the Creative Work within Western and Japanese literary contexts of the Self and the Other. As the issue of Asian non-Japanese workers (“Others”) in Japan has increased in significance in recent years, Cooperation also attempts to extrapolate the analysed portrayals of the Self and Other to the representation of these “Others”.
Advisor: Jones, Jill
Castro, Brian
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Humanities, 2020
Keywords: Salaryman novel
self/other
salaryman identity
cross-cultural interaction
Asian other
Japanese
Description: Vol. 1 Cooperation : Creative Writing -- Vol. 2 Portraying The Other in Salaryman Novels and How Their Identities are Constructed : Exegesis
Provenance: This thesis is currently under Embargo and not available.
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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