A Mechanism Linking Discrimination, Conflict, and Switching Behaviour in Bicultural Individuals

JungHui Lee, Kanagawa Dental University Yokosuka, Japan
Tomoko Tanaka, Okayama University, Japan
Email: kdukairos@yahoo.co.jp
Published: June 24, 2019

Citation: Lee, J., & Tanaka, T. (2019). A Mechanism Linking Discrimination, Conflict, and Switching Behaviour in Bicultural Individuals. IAFOR Journal of Arts & Humanities, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijah.6.1.04


This study focuses on the switching behaviour exhibited by Zainichi Koreans (ethnic Koreans living in Japan who have effectively managed to maintain their Korean nationality and have
been granted the status of tokubetsu eijusha [“special” permanent residents] by the Japanese government). In the present article, the term “switching” refers to the alteration of behaviour according to different cultural contexts. This study aimed to identify the mechanism underlying links between perceived discrimination, internal conflict, and switching. A questionnaire survey was conducted with 184 Zainichi Koreans. Path analyses showed that discrimination had a significant effect on conflict (β = .31, p < .001), and that conflict enhanced switching significantly (β = .25, p < .001). In addition, discrimination directly exerted a significant, positive effect on switching (β = .25, p < .001). These findings suggest that switching may ultimately be caused by discrimination on the part of the host’s majority society or individuals. This study’s findings contribute to the theory that switching is a way for immigrants to protect themselves if they perceive discrimination from – or feel conflicted toward – the society in which they live.


bicultural individuals, conflict, discrimination, Japan, switching, Zainichi Koreans