The social identities of Japanese backpackers
Cognizant Communication Corporation
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Business
This research adopted a qualitative approach with data collected through in-depth interviews, informal conversations, and participant observation to identify the social identities of Japanese young travelers in relation to their group dynamic. The findings indicate that the diversity of out-group interactions with travelers from different countries enhances cross-cultural understanding and language learning, while in-group interactions with other Japanese offer a pseudohome while traveling. The issue of identity ambivalence is important as the spheres of familiarity and diversity in travel group interactions are dynamic and complementary. The current research furthers our understanding of the interrelation between culture, communication, and the action of travel among independent travelers.