Identity as a conscious ongoing process

Transcripts available in the following languages:

I think my own identity changes whether I did the project or not. I think identity is a conscious ongoing process. We always redefine who we are, depending what we want to do consciously, and sometimes it’s unconscious, who we hang out with. I know that when I hang out with my lifeguard friends I talk a different way. And I know that when I hang out with my Karate brethren I speak a different way, and I know that when I’m living in Japan I speak a different way, or living in Hawai`i, I slip right back into pidgin. And there’s a certain thing that we sometimes just drift into our identities.

The example I give is let’s say you hear someone talk on the phone. I use it for college students. Say you listen to your roommate talk on the phone, and he talks to his mother, he’s like “Yeah, okay. Yes, okay. Yeah, I gotta go,” and then he hangs up and talks to his boss and he’s like, “Oh, no problem, ha ha, sure, sure, I got it, bye bye.” And then he calls some girl he met at the bar and says “Hey baby, how you doin’?” We have these guises, so I think it’s a process, we’re always changing.

Date: May 3, 2006
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Jim Bower
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum.


Nikkei Roots: Digging into Our Cultural Heritage

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