A Narrative Inquiry into Educational Decision-Making in Thai-Japanese Families in Thailand
In the past decades, marriage migrants in Asia, including Thai-Japanese couples, have increased. Previous literature predominantly focused on issues related to adaptation and integration for foreign wives into the host society underlining the hypergamous (marrying a spouse of a higher status) nature of their marriage, which renders the majority of husbands and non-hypergamous marriages understudied. Therefore, the current study focuses on a population that includes husbands and wives, Japanese migrants, and Thai spouses. This study is exploratory and employed a qualitative approach with snowball sampling, which resulted in the inclusion of five Thai nationals and three of their Japanese spouses raising children in Thailand as participants. The study aims to examine their educational decision-making, including the language used in each family and school choice, since the parenting process is a succession of adjustments in response to the conditions of society, where values are explicitly manifested. Data were collected through face-to-face or online interviews, and content analysis was used to clarify themes. Analysis revealed factors that relate educational decisions to preconditions, such as the place of the first encounter, socioeconomic status, and location of their home. Another prominent issue is the strong belief in the English language. All participants claim that their decisions were made unanimously, while their characteristics, high levels of education and overseas experience, the preference of Japanese spouses to live in Thailand, and their lack of knowledge about educational options in Thai society contribute to the rational recount of their decision-making process.