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The impact of cross-cultural reentry on shaping life histories Crystal, Kenneth M.J. 1997

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THE IMPACT OF CROSS-CULTURAL REENTRY ON SHAPING LIFE HISTORIES by K E N N E T H M . J. C R Y S T A L B.ScF., University of British Columbia, 1984  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL F U L F I L L M E N T OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE F A C U L T Y OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Counselling Psychology)  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A April, 1997 © Kenneth M . J. Crystal, 1997  In  presenting  degree at the  this  thesis  in  University of  partial  fulfilment  of  of  department  this thesis for or  by  his  or  scholarly purposes may be her  representatives.  permission.  Department The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  for  an advanced  Library shall make it  agree that permission for extensive  It  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not  DE-6 (2/88)  requirements  British Columbia, I agree that the  freely available for reference and study. I further copying  the  is  granted  by the  understood  that  head of copying  my or  be allowed without my written  11  Abstract  A hermeneutic-phenomenological, mutli-case study was conducted to discern how the experience of cross-cultural reentry impacts the life histories of three repatriated, English speaking, Canadian males. In this study, identity is defined as a self-narrative. During an audiotaped, in-depth interview, the co-researchers described motivations for leaving Canada, their experiences of life overseas, cross-cultural reentry to Canada, as well as, expectations concerning their futures. A comparative analysis was conducted to illustrate common themes and narrative structure among the three accounts. The overall cross-cultural experience was seen to be structured as an adventure: the quest for personhood. The drive towards personhood is described as the search for harmony among the various stances or roles that provide life with a sense of fulfillment and meaning. The cross-cultural quest for personhood has four phases. The first two phases of the quest correspond to leave taking and of consecrating an overseas home. These phases are defined by their outward adventure of action taking. Themes associated with phase one are separation, attachment, commitment and unfinished business. Themes associated with phase two are building a framework of life supports and settling down. The next phase of the story corresponds to disruption of the co-researchers' lives and an inward adventure of sustained self-confrontations. Themes highlighted during this period of cross-cultural reentry are developmental, cultural, and temporal assaults upon self-identity. The final phase of the story corresponds to responsibility-taking and the re-appropriation of a life path towards fulfillment. Implication for models of cross-cultural adjustment, as well as, implications for counseling practice, are discussed.  iii  T A B L E OF CONTENTS Abstract List of Tables List of Figures Acknowledgments Quotes  ii v vi vii viii  C H A P T E R I. INTRODUCTION  1  Statement of the Problem Personal Reflections  1 4  C H A P T E R II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE  6  Cross-cultural Entry, Reentry and Domestic Geographical Relocators International Business and Work Adjustment Reentry, Career, and Work Adjustment: A Review of Five Studies Black, Gregersen and Mendenhall's framework of repatriation adjustment. Gomez-Mejia and Balkin: The determinants of managerial satisfaction with the expatriation and repatriation process Briody and Baba: explaining differences in repatriation experiences Feldman and Thomas: Indices of adjustment for job-changers Summary Identity and Cross-Cultural Adaptation Identity Models of Cross-cultural Adaptation An Alternative Approach to Reentry  6 8 10  14 15 15 17 19 19 22 28  CHAPTER III. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY  32  Research Design Rationale Narrative truth Validity, reliability, and generalizability Procedures Co-researchers Research Interviews The screening interview The narrative interview Validation interview Case Study Accounts and Comments Comparative Analysis  32 32 36 39 39 41 41 41 42 42 43  11  IV  C H A P T E R IV. RESULTS: STORIES OF CROSS-CULTURAL ENTRY AND REENTRY  44  N's Story Comments HX's Story Comments D's Story Comments Validation interview  44 57 64 81 86 95 100  C H A P T E R V. COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS  101  The Preamble Fitt I: Separation: Play, Scoping the Fields Fitt II: Actualizing Utopia, Consecrating a Home Fitt III: The Storm . Fitt III-A: Disruption Fitt III-B: Reentry: A Stunning into Consciousness Fitt IV: Re-appropriation Narrative Structure Summary  102 104 107 110 110 114 120 125 128  C H A P T E R VI. DISCUSSION  133  Study Limitations and Future Research Implications Implications for Theory Implications for Counseling Business Summary  134 136 140 142 143  REFERENCES  145  APPENDIX A: A n essay on Greeks, Astronauts and Repatriates APPENDIX B: Summary of Factors that Influence Business Personnel Reentry  153  Adjustment  APPENDIX C: Letter of Initial Contact APPENDIX D: Consent Form  155 158 160  APPENDIX E : Demographic Questionnaire  161  APPENDIX F: Sample Interview Questions  162  V  LIST O F TABLES  T A B L E # 1: N : Demographic Questionairre T A B L E # 2: HX: Demographic Questionairre T A B L E # 3: D: Demographic Questionairre  44 64 86  VI  LIST OF FIGURES  FIGURE #1: Black, Gregersen and Mendenhall's Framework of Repatriation 12 FIGURE #2: Time Flow in the Quest Cycle: The Sacred Snake 128 FIGURE #3: Temporal, Developmental, and Cultural Context of One's Identity or Personal Narrative  139  vii Acknowledgments This thesis represents the culmination of a chapter in my life history. It would not have been completed without the support, inspiration, and encouragement that I received from a number of people. I would like to thank the following people: M y thesis supervisor, Dr. Marv Westwood. Marv has offered many gifts to me, including his mentorship and the sharing of our own stories. What I cherish most is his faith in me as a counselor and as a person, and the abiding sense of hope that has been instilled within. Dr. Larry Cochran. As a member of my committee, Dr. Cochran has been most generous with his time and direction. As an apprentice narrative researcher I am deeply grateful for his tutelage. Dr. Merle Ace, a member of my committee, for his enthusiasm, practical comments, and other contributions that lead to improvements in the thesis. The participants for generously sharing their stories; an offering of themselves and their time. To my colleagues in Vernon, B.C., for providing me the opportunity to partly finance my education during the writing of this thesis. My friends. Thanks to those who have endured my absences, and those who aided the process of writing. Michael Ross, for his help in printing the thesis. George Campbell, Christine and Lane Marchand, and Geoff Lyon for providing me space to write this thesis. My parents who have been my ever faithful supports. Dan and Graeme McComb, for putting up with me, for the sharing of their mother, and for the joy and fulfillment they bring to my life. Leslie Ross, for her lightness and darkness, for her love, for the adventures we have shared. I will remember you on my forthcoming adventures.  viii  QUOTES  Our Fatherland is There whence we have come, and There is the Father. What then is our course, what manner of our flight? This is not a journey for the feet; ever the feet bring us from one spot of earth to another. Nor do you need to plan a journey by horse-and-chariot or over sea. All this order of things you must set aside. Nor do you need to see; you must close the eyes and instead call upon another vision which is to be waked within you, a vision which all possess, which few apply. Plotinus Enneads 1.6.8  Kip and I are both international bastards - born in one place and choosing to live elsewhere. Fighting to get back to or get away from our homelands all our lives. Michael Ondaatje The English Patient (p. 111).  To render the quality of an adventure, we must no longer present the simple contour of acts, but the subtleties of feeling which flesh out "mere" acts. Paul Zweig The Adventurer (p. 96).  1  CHAPTER I Introduction  Statement O f The Problem The life experience of repatriated persons includes at least two cross-cultural transitions: host culture entry and home culture reentry. The first transition is anticipated, the second is not (Adler, 1981; Gullahorn & Gullahorn, 1963; Martin, 1984). The returnee, as well as his or her friends, family and co-workers, believe that he or she will "know what to expect, how to act, and, in short, be comfortable in 'their' home culture" (Westwood, Lawrence, & Paul, 1986, p. 223). However, changes that have occurred in the individual and changes that have occurred in work, social, and cultural environments, suddenly confront each other at reentry (Martin, 1984). When expectations of reentry do not match with reality, many repatriates experience feelings of disorientation, uncertainty, depression, strain and fatigue, impotence, and rejection (Gullahorn & Gullahorn, 1963; Ishiyama, 1995; Martin, 1984; Paige, 1984). The reentry phenomenon, or at the very least, the interest in reentry phenomena, is possibly more topical today than in the past because people move and live among divergent cultures like never before. Factors that have stimulated reentry research may include changes in communication and transportation technologies, the advent of the global market and the rise of international business. However, the phenomenon of cross-cultural reentry is nothing new. Through myths and fictional stories, humankind has sought to capture and convey the experience, if not the symbolic meaning, of the return home. Perhaps the most renown story concerning reentry, is the Odyssey, by Homer. According to Pucci (1987), the return home is central to this epic tale. It is only when Odysseus decides to leave Calypso to return home, "to come back and to accept his mortality, does the hero begin to be himself and the Odyssey begin. Odysseus' return home represents his return to humanity, consciousness, reality, and responsibility, and the episodes of this return constitute facets of those re-appropriations" (p. 13).  2  Western culture has numerous fictions that feature characters who's stories are necessarily rounded by an inclusion of their experiences and thoughts concerning their return home. A sample of these stories includes, among others, Thomas Hardy's Return of the Native. J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. or. There and Back Again, and the mythology, The Tales of Sir Gawain (Philip, 1987). Possibly, the return home is a chapter within the larger context of the story. Perhaps, in fictional stories, chapters of reentry are attempts to connect and entwine the character's disparate cross-cultural experiences into a coherent and organized whole which helps the reader further understand the meaning of the story. Furthermore the period of return has been employed as a narrative devise to explicate commentary on social and psychological processes. Such stories include Jonathan Swift's satire Gulliver's Travels. Conrad's exploration of the man's shadowy nature in Heart of Darkness, and Frank Baum's The New Wizard of Oz. Such stories are part of the 'narrative frame' that each culture provides it members to further their own self-understanding of complex life events (Rosenwald & Ochberg, 1992). Polkinghorne (1991a) agrees with May (1975), in that myths and stories, help individuals  make sense of life by providing an orientation to the cosmos, recognizing that they give function to the meaning to the experience of our selves, to our understanding of others, and to our interpersonal relationships. Myths are also the carriers of cultural and personal values (Polkinghorne, 1991a, p. 145).  In reality, many divergent groups of people experience the reentry phenomenon, including, among others, church workers, students, military and government personnel, world travelers, and youth workers. One group that has received special interest are international business repatriates; the group of this study. The Theory of Work Adjustment (Dawis & Lofquist, 1984), as well as other career development theories, have been employed by international business firms to help manage the repatriation process of their employees. As such, these theories propose practical steps that businesses, and the repatriates themselves, can take to insure successful adjustment to work in the home country. Apart from the career adjustmentframework,reentry has also been conceptualized in various models of cross-cultural adjustment. One group of models stress the learning paradigm, that is, reentry adjustment is viewed predominantly as a response to changes in the environment.  3 The second group makes use of the cognitive paradigm: repatriates negotiate with the external reality of returning home, and they construe the world according to their own perceptions. Collectively, neither adjustment theory, nor models of cross-cultural adaptation, have been completely satisfactory in addressing the complex experience of reentry for repatriates. A n alternative way that people strive to understand how complex events shape their lives is story telling (Mishler, 1986). The personal stories of reentry may inform researchers of how the cross-cultural experience of reentry impacts individuals. Through narrative 'emplotment', the individual "can configure diverse events and actions of one's life into a meaningful whole" (Polkinghorne, 1991a, p. 135). According to Charlotte Linde (1993, life "stories express our sense of self: who we are and how we got that way" (p. 3). Furthermore, Rosenwald and Ochberg (1992), and others, (Crites, 1986; McAdams, 1988; Polkinghorne, 1991a; Sarbin, 1986; Taylor, 1989) believe that personal stories are how individuals fashion personal identities. According to McAdams (1988), "the problem of identity is the problem of arriving at a life story that makes sense - provides unity and purpose. The life story is joint product of person and environment" (p. 18). Identity is developed within a cultural context (Linde, 1993). However, reentry takes place within, by definition, a bi-cultural, or even multi-cultural context; it is an idiosyncratic experience in that it is not normally a part of the identity development path of individuals. A n overseas work assignment and the return to the home culture, are, for many people, major events. According to May (1967), "major life events - such as birth, adolescence, marriage, procreation, death - often tear apart meaning-giving life narratives. This rendering leaves the person to 'experience the profound insecurity, self-doubt and inner conflict which we associate with anxiety" (p. 1). Furthermore, "identity problems arise when a firm, stable, and well-defined context for theory about oneself becomes unclear, incoherent, incomplete, contradictory, or otherwise ineffective" (Baumeister 1986, p. 257). Cross-cultural reentry is possibly, for many repatriates, such an event because self-concept is a product of both the individual and the broader cultural environment in which people live. The cross-cultural experience, culminating at reentry, may cause returnees to question their own  4 identities. Repatriates may ask of themselves: 1) Who am I now that I am home? 2) How have I changed as a result of the reentry experience? 3) How can I make sense of what I am experiencing? 4) Where do I go from here? 5) Where do I belong? According to Charles Taylor (1989), one answer to the question, who am I? is for the individual to know what is of crucial importance to him or herself.  My identity is defined by the commitments and identifications which provide the frame or horizon within which I can try to determine from case to case what is good, or valuable, or what ought to be done, or what I endorse or oppose (p. 28). However, to date, cross-cultural reentry has not been well researched from the perspective of its impact on the identity development path of repatriates. In fact, within the narrative frame of identity development, it has only been a recent development that researchers have begun to recognize the impacts of culture on the personal narratives, or life stories, of individuals (Rosenwald & Ochberg, 1992). What is missing in the research literature are in-depth accounts of how the cross-cultural experience of reentry shapes repatriates' personal narratives, shapes their personal identities.  The purpose of this study is to further understand the phenomena  of reentry, using a narrative approach, by investigating the following question: How does the experience of reentry shape a repatriate's life history?  Personal Reflections Reentry is a chapter in my own life history. When I was twenty-two years of age, I received a work-study scholarship to learn forestry practices in southern Brazil. I was immersed, for six months, in the local culture of an isolated village, where only two others spoke my native language, English. In Brazil I had many different experiences, but I had not anticipated the extent that these experiences would broaden and reshape my world view. Reentry, was for me, like the beginning of a story in which I unexpectedly realized I was not the same person, who, six short months previously, had left Canada. Upon return to Canada, I was struck by the familiarity and difference of Canadian life. I began to question fundamental aspects of my world view. For example, my identity was, in  5 many ways, that of a young Catholic who practiced the profession of Forestry. However, upon reentry, two major foundations which I used to define my identity — religion and profession — no longer applied in quite the same way. I questioned my religious beliefs, my sense of belonging in Canada, and whether my future direction was in the forestry profession. At sometime during my cross-cultural journey, my naivety, or innocence, about the world and who I was, had been transformed into a set of questions: questions that I still ponder. M y familiar Canadian life no longer existed. I experienced a sort of vacuum. When I returned, I was not able to easily integrate my experiences. I began questioning, examining, wondering about, and searching for, an authentic direction in my life. Erik Erikson (1964) wrote that 'graduations' in human development involve the abandonment of a familiar position, and through the process of coming to terms with changes, one grows. Reentry, for me, was the process of coming to terms with personal changes. The personally, relevant legacy of reentry is that this experience challenged me to attempt to know my 'self in the temporally and culturally different contexts in which I make sense of my own life (see appendix A).  6  CHAPTER II Review of the Literature  The purposes of this literature review are to: (a) describe key terms used in this paper, and detail how reentry is different from similar transitions; (b) provide a brief overview of the development of the cross-cultural reentry literature as it applies to business persons; (c) to critically review the adequacy of the prevalent paradigm, 'The Theory of Work Adjustment', to capture the breadth of the reentry experience of business persons; (d) discuss identity formation and cross-cultural adaptation models, and finally; (e) present an alternative approach to the study of reentry.  Cross-cultural Entry. Reentry and Domestic Geographical Relocators The reentry adjustment of business personnel is initiated by a job-related geographical transfer. For the purpose of this study it is important to identify how cross-cultural reentry is related to, but distinct from other job related transfers: expatriate adjustment and geographical domestic relocation. Cross-cultural reentry "refers to the continuum of experiences and behaviors which are encountered when an individual returns to a place of origin after having been immersed in another context for a period of time sufficient to cause some degree of mental and emotional adjustment prior to optimal functioning in the 'new' environment" (Westwood, Lawrence, & Paul, 1986, p. 223). In this study, reentry adjustment, cross-cultural reentry adjustment, and repatriation adjustment will be used interchangeably. Cross-cultural reentry stress is defined as stress, experienced by repatriates, that is attributable to the cross-cultural reentry adjustment process. Cross-cultural reentry is similar to other transitional experiences in life; transitions involve change for the individual. In fact, change is the underlying commonalty in all life transitions. Human responses to change may include disorientation, cognitive inconsistency, re-definition of identity, and adjustment (Martin, 1984). Each transition adjustment involves the achievement of  7 a mutually reciprocal fit between the person and the environment (Anderson, 1994; Martin, 1984). Environment can be defined as the cultural, social, physical, work and other contexts in which the individual lives. The major difference between domestic and international relocation is the degree of environmental novelty that the individual encounters (Black, Gregersen, & Mendenhall, 1992). In the domestic transfer, the individual is surrounded by familiar cultural and environmental supports. For example, the individual is already aware of culturally appropriate ways of communication and is in contact with others who share similar values. In the cross-cultural entry and reentry transitions, the individual learns/relearns novel parameters of the new/old environment. In essence, the individual learns to live with change and difference: different people, cultural norms, standards, organizational norms and different values. The result of the combination of loss of familiar objects and social relations, and the clash of core values (emotion-laden images that guide everyday acts and define one's identity), is pressure upon the self-identity of the sojourner (Anderson, 1994). As the processes of crosscultural entry and reentry unfold, the individual's self-concept may change as he or she integrates the experience (Anderson, 1994; Atkinson, Morten, & Sue, 1979; Ishiyama, 1995; Martin, 1984). According to Adler (1976), many repatriates report significant personal growth as a result of this experience. The important differences between cross-cultural entry and reentry are the expectations of the repatriate (Westwood, Lawrence, & Paul, 1986). Paige (1984) has described the difference between cross-cultural entry and reentry shock as follows: "Culture shock is the expected confrontation with the unfamiliar. Reentry shock is the unexpected confrontation with the familiar" (p. 149). At cross-cultural entry the individual expects to be on the margin of the foreign group and expects to feel at home upon repatriation. However, during the period of absence, the repatriate has had little chance to examine the interplay between his or her personal changes and changes in the environment of the home country. At reentry, the repatriate often finds that the home environment is much less familiar than expected, and he or she experiences a  8 feeling of strangeness at home (Martin, 1984). The individual unexpectedly discovers that they have changed, and that the home environment has also changed. Domestic relocation, expatriation, and repatriation adjustment processes are not totally unrelated. However, the differences with respect to cultural novelty, reentry expectations and the impact on self-identity of repatriates from the other two job-related transfers warrants a separate theoretical and empirical investigation of the repatriation process (Black, Gregersen, & Mendenhall, 1992). For business people, the major emphasis has been focused on repatriates' adjustment to work.  International Business and Work Adjustment In the mid seventies, interest in the cross-cultural reentry of repatriated business personnel began to germinate coincident with the burgeoning of international trade and the birth and expansion of multinational corporations. Businesses that competed globally required personnel to assistant and guide international branch development (Kobrin, 1988; Tung, 1988). However, upon reentry, many corporations failed to retain repatriates because they did not address the problems of cross-cultural reentry (Cagney, 1975; Harvey, 1989). The reentry work adjustment process of an individual is a joint product of the individual and the environment in which they work. International business firms have become interested in the job performance and the organizational fit of repatriated individuals for several reasons. First, Black, Gregersen and Mendenhall (1992), estimate that the average American multinational corporation invests approximately $1,000,000 on each expatriate over the duration of the average overseas assignment. However, 25% of expatriate American business personnel, who return from overseas assignments, leave their firm within one year after the date of reentry (Black, 1988). Such a rate represents a significant loss of international management skills, knowledge, and expertise. Second, firms may also incur considerable costs attributable to employee compensation expenses (Black, Mendenhall, & Oddou, 1991). Furthermore, the growing recognition that the reentry adjustment of business repatriates impacts not only the individual, but also the international business, is evidenced by the growing  9  interest in how the international assignment fits into organizational and individual career plans. In particular, business firms may capitalize on the foreign expertise of the repatriate if they take precautions to insure successful work adjustment of the repatriate. Kobrin (1988), Tung (1988), and others (Black, 1988; Briody & Baba, 1991), suggest that American multinational corporations that have not capitalized on the talents of repatriated business personnel have become less competitive in the global market. Unfortunately, many international business firms do not provide any guidance or assistance to enable repatriates to better manage the reentry process (Black, Gregersen, & Mendenhall, 1992; Harvey, 1989). Since the mid seventies, the dominant theoretical framework applied to reentry research of business repatriates has been career adjustment and development theories. The allure of these theories is that they provide a theoretical rationale for business managers to understand and actively guide the work adjustment processes of their repatriated business personnel. Walsh and Osipow (1989) provide a summary of how several theories of career choice and development converge with respect to the importance of the person-environment interaction on the impact of the career development process. Holland's theory stipulates that individuals seek environments that match their identified person types. The social learning approach, proposed by Krumboltz, emphasizes the role of the environment concerning the development of distinctive sets of response skills and attitudes an individual processes as a result of reinforcement. In Super's career development theory, environment is defined in terms of the career stages the individual moves through as determined by the particular demands the culture makes of the individual during each stage and by the individual's current circumstances and perceptions (Osipow, 1990). Another career development model that directly addresses the transactional nature of the person-environment interaction is The Theory of Work Adjustment (Dawis and Lofquist, 1984). "Work adjustment is the process of achieving and maintaining correspondence", which is "indicated by the satisfaction of the individual with the work environment and by the satisfaction of the work environment with the individual" (Dawis & Lofquist, 1984, p. 9).  10  Given the number of models and accumulated data concerning how career decisions and adjustments to work are made and implemented, it is surprising that these processes, as they relate to business repatriates, have received very little systematic investigation (Black & Gregersen, 1991; Harvey, 1989). According to Black and Mendenhall (1991), "research on cross-cultural adaptation has been characterized by a search for factors that influence crosscultural adjustment rather than towards a theoretical explanation of the adjustment process and why certain factors would be expected to influence adjustment" (p. 226). Recently however, attempts have been made to re-frame the repatriation process of business people within the broad stream of adjustment research. Harvey (1989), Feldman (1991), and Black, Gregersen and Mendenhall (1992), have formulated theoretical frameworks of repatriation adjustment. In each model, career related factors are key factors of repatriation adjustment. Both Feldman and Harvey propose that clarity of how the overseas assignment fits into repatriates' long term career development plans will moderate the reentry difficulties experienced by repatriates. To date, these models have not been thoroughly tested. Each of these models predicts factors that individuals may find important to consider as they make career development decisions and adjustments to work. At present, the phenomena of reentry have not been thoroughly researched. There are few empirical investigations that concern how the overseas assignment and the subsequent experience of reentry adjustment influences / impacts the long term career plans, and indeed, lives of business repatriates. Of the available reentry research conducted on business repatriates, the vast majority has been conducted within the framework of work adjustment theory. As such, a critical review of the reentry research, conducted from this theoretical framework is provided (see appendix B). Such a review has been included to shed light on gaps that may require further research.  Reentry. Career, and Work Adjustment: A Review of Five Studies In the following section I will critically review five studies that have advanced our knowledge of the reentry and work adjustment processes of repatriated business personnel.  11 These five studies were chosen because they represent the current theoretical and methodological investigation of the reentry phenomena experienced by business repatriates. The first two studies concern one of the few available theoretical frameworks of repatriation that relates the adjustment of business men to the theoretical underpinnings of cross-cultural adjustment theory. The third and forth studies are examples of methodological approaches used to investigate repatriation adjustment. The fifth study compares the adjustment processes of different jobchangers.  Black. Gregersen and Mendenhall's framework of repatriation adjustment. The overarching theoretical framework of the Black, Gregersen and Mendenhall (1992) model, is built upon one tenet of adjustment theory, namely that he or she who find themselves in an unfamiliar environment will experience uncertainty and will, in general, have a need to reduce it. The authors assume that factors, which reduce uncertainty will facilitate reentry adjustment, and factors which increase uncertainty will inhibit reentry adjustment. The researchers propose that in addition to adjustment in the home country, repatriates can prepare for reentry while still overseas; anticipation of repatriation challenges may influence reentry adjustment. The model consists of two parts, anticipatory and home country adjustments, that are further divided into four general categories of adjustment factors (see Figure #1). The 1992 model is supported by empirical evidence from the 1991 study of factors of repatriation adjustment conducted by Black and Gregersen.  Black and Gregersen (1991) studied factors that influence repatriation  adjustment of business managers from four large multinational corporations. The sample consisted of 125 business managers and 76 of their spouses who had returned to the United States within 18 months prior to the commencement of the study. Ninety-four percent of the business managers were male. Business managers had been on foreign assignment for at least nine months. Assignments were in 26 different countries.  12  Figure #1  Black, Gregersen and Mendenhall's Framework of Repatriation Adjustment  Anticipatory Adjustment  In-Country Adjustment  Information Source* Individual Variables Time Overseas Visits Home  Individual Variables Need lor Control  Predictive Control  Expatriation Adjustment  Predictive & Behavioral Control  JobVariabtei Job Variables Task Interdependence  Orgaiuzstlonal Sponsor Pre-return Training Comm. Frequency  Role Clarity Anticipatory Repatriation Expectation* 1. Work 2. Interaction 3. General  ^  J Facets  Role Discretion Role Conflict Organizational Variables Post-Arrival Training Repatriation Career k^Objecttves/Pottctes J ^> Nonworic Variables  Nonworfc Variables  Social Status  Cultural Distance Fundamental Process  Housing Conditions Spouse Adjustment  Fundamental Process  Variable Categories 2 Temporal Dimensions  From: Black. J. S.. Gregersen. H. B.. & Mendenhall. M . E. (1992)  Business persons and their spouses were asked to independently complete a questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of five anticipatory factors and seven home country factors that were hypothesized to influence the three facets of repatriation adjustment: work, interaction with home nationals, and general reentry. Item responses were measured using a five point Likert-type scale. Different factors were allocated different numbers of items in the questionnaire. The three components of repatriation adjustment were measured on a seven point Likert-type scale, 14 item questionnaire for business managers, and on a seven point Likert-type scale, nine item  13  questionnaire for spouses. Because many spouses did not work overseas or upon reentry, their adjustment to work was not measured. Black, Gregersen and Mendenhall report a correlation matrix of factors. Eighteen relationships were found to be statistically significant. Through multiple regression analysis, the authors were able to account for 53% of the variance in repatriation work adjustment, 29% of repatriation interaction adjustment, and 38% of general repatriation adjustment for the business managers. For spouses, the authors were able to account for 16% of the variance in repatriation interaction and 30% of the variance of general repatriation adjustment. There are many attractive features of the framework of repatriation presented by Black, Gregersen and Mendenhall. First, the authors have conceptualized repatriation adjustment to be multifaceted. Second, the factors chosen for study are linked to adjustment theory. Third, the concept of anticipatory adjustments to repatriation provides business personnel managers and repatriates with a guide to help prepare repatriates to make smoother transitions to the home country. Fourth, how different factors impact the different domains of repatriation adjustment is now more fully understood. However, there are several limitations of the 1991 study, conducted by Black and Gregersen, upon which the 1992 model is built. The first weakness is that measures of repatriation adjustment are based on a modified version of expatriate adjustment. The authors do not provide any validation data for the repatriation adjustment scales other than face validity. The reader is expected to assume that the repatriation adjustment scales measure what they purport to measure. Second, many factors identified in the literature as impacting the repatriation adjustment process were not tested. The third limitation is that the results are confined to a male American population. Finally, there is no indication of how the various factors of repatriation impact each other. The limitations of the 1991 study suggest that a further test of the model that employs valid and reliable measures of reentry.  14  Gomez-Mejia and Balkin: The determinants of managerial satisfaction with the expatriation and repatriation process. Gomez-Mejia and Balkin administered a questionnaire to 89 American managers (85 male, 4 female) and their spouses to determine their satisfaction with several aspects of the repatriation experience. Subjects were in the process of repatriation and were chosen from a large multinational organization. The survey consisted of one open ended question, 11 Likert-type items, and four binary items. The domains tapped by the questions were: (a) assistance provided upon repatriation, (b) impact of foreign assignment on career goals/development, (c) perceived opportunities upon return, and (d) overall reactions to the entire expatriation/repatriation process. The authors report that 86% of the variation in overall satisfaction with repatriation was accounted for by impact one single item: satisfaction with the impact of the foreign assignment upon career. Furthermore, only 35% of respondents indicated that they were satisfied with the repatriation process as opposed to 82% of respondents who were satisfied with the expatriation process. The author also report that "the major negative feelings and apprehensions about the expatriate experience had little to do with the expatriates stay in a foreign country, but rather with the return process to the United States" (p. 15). One strength of this study is that respondents identified factors that influenced their repatriation adjustment. Relatively few past studies have utilized data from actual business expatriates to determine empirically which factors influence repatriation adjustment. Most studies have focused on repatriation problems as identified by corporate human resources executives (Black & Gregersen, 1991). Second, the survey brings to light that location of foreign assignment, which has a definite impact on expatriate satisfaction, may have a lesser impact on repatriation satisfaction. And third, the study generates proposals for action to improve employee satisfaction concerning repatriation adjustment. One limitation of the study is that the results are generalizable only to American male repatriates. Second, the authors do not make explicit the breakdown of how different career variables (i.e., difficulties of work adjustment; restriction around career choices upon return; lower financial compensation) account for repatriation dissatisfaction concerning career impacts.  15  Briody and Baba: Explaining differences in repatriation experiences. Briody and Baba (1991) conducted semi-structured interviews with 15 repatriated international service personnel (ISP) of General Motors, their spouses, as well as 45 ISP program managers. The purpose of the study was to generate hypotheses that might explain the variation in the repatriation experiences of ISP. The main finding of the study was a hypothesis that job satisfaction of repatriates is influenced by the organizational structure and ideology surrounding the foreign assignment. ISP who returned to a coupled system (an organizational unit that possesses direct linkages between the international and domestic operations and is overseen by managers who value the overseas experience of the ISP) reported higher job satisfaction than ISPs who returned to de-coupled systems (organizational units that possess few linkages between international and domestic operations and run by managers who do not value the foreign experience of the ISP). Managers of de-coupled systems are most likely unaware of the potential benefits to their organizational units or do not know how to make use of the talents of repatriated ISPs. As a consequence, ISP who return to de-coupled systems may be put in a holding pattern until a position arises where they can use their international talents; these ISP experience a disrupted career path. The strength of this study is that repatriates as well as their immediate supervisors were involved in the interview process. This methodological approach allowed for the development of a unique perspective of how domestic managers perceive, value and respond to repatriates. A limitation to this study was the method of data analysis. Curiously, the authors relied on statistical methods of data analysis rather than on the excerpts from the in-depth interviews to support their conclusions. The authors generated several hypotheses concerning repatriation adjustment, however, the hypotheses remain unsubstantiated because low sample size did not allow for an adequate statistical analysis.  Feldman and Tompson: Indices of adjustment for job-changers. Feldman and Tompson (1993) studied the impact of six factors on work adjustment of 123 expatriates, 40 repatriates, and 296 geographical domestic relocators who were graduates of a M A business management program located in the southeastern United States. The sample population was  16  comprised of 364 Americans, the remaining 95 subjects were from various regions of the globe. Subjects had been out of graduate school for an average of seven years. Three measures of adjustment were job satisfaction, intent to remain with the firm, and psychological well-being. Respondents completed a Likert-type survey of items designed to tap the domains of the six factors hypothesized to impact work adjustment. The statistical analysis of data employed hierarchical multiple regression and analysis of variance. The results showed that career development variables were consistently and strongly related to the measures of adjustment. Second, adjustment of job changers was significantly impacted by type of coping strategy they employed. Third, the amount of change in job duties was positively related to adjustment. Conversely, the amount of change in the organizational unit was inversely related to adjustment. Fourth, the impact of international variables on adjustment was relatively small. Finally, there were no significant differences between the different populations of job changers with respect to the mean level of adjustment. One strength of this study is that the authors attempted to elucidate similarities and differences of different job-changers. As well, this study integrates international and domestic job-change research streams. The finding that there were no significant adjustment difference between various job-changers may indicate that existing career development theories may have practical application for international job-changers. However, there are several limitations in this study. First, the authors do not provide information concerning the elapsed time since relocation for subjects. One would expect that subjects who have had a significant period of time to adjust to the new work location would report higher levels of adjustment than those who were recent relocators. Second, the study employed unbalanced samples of the three job relocators; such a sample could mask differences between the sample populations. Third, all the expatriate and repatriate subjects were prepared for cross-cultural work adjustment through extensive pre-departure training prior to overseas assignment. This procedure may also mask differences between the different job relocators; those who accepted international assignments are prepared to make adjustments to work.  17  Summary. From the review of existing literature on business repatriates, several themes emerge. The first theme that emerges from the literature is that the vast majority of repatriation literature concerning business persons is anecdotal, there are few in-depth studies. As well, the few in-depth studies available have tended to focus on groups, rather than on individuals. According to William Fitts (1981, cited in Zaharna, 1989), when this is done, "one finds that there is a great deal happening with individuals that is completely obscured or confounded by the group data" (p. 506). Unfortunately, Briody and Baba's study, which focused on individuals' experience of the reentry process, could have revealed more 'meaty' findings if the researchers had applied qualitative research analysis methods. Furthermore, the empirical research on repatriation adjustment has been focused on short term adjustments rather than on the long-term consequences for career development. These reentry adjustment studies give the impression that the phenomenon of reentry is a finite process in the lives of repatriates. According to Adler (1981), most individuals who have experienced reentry shock seem to recover within 18 months of their return home. However, for some people, the effects on the reentry experience may continue to influence their lives. "Those who have a bi-cultural (or multi-cultural) background and do not exclusively identify with either culture may experience conflicts with both cultures. They suffer a lack of social validation of self because of their personal uniqueness in not conforming to expectations of either culture" (Ishiyama, 1995, p. 264). As well, it should also be noted that what has been studied is the repatriation adjustments of business men; the repatriation process of business women is virtually unknown. The third theme that appears from a review of the literature is that research on business repatriates has been almost exclusively concerned with repatriates' career adjustment, with career narrowly defined as an occupation or as a separate band of work activities. This bias is recognized in the construction of the Likert-Type questionnaires; the majority of questions are work related. The subjective, personal meaning of the reentry experience for repatriates seems to have received a lesser priority.  18  The main focus of the work adjustment - repatriation research appears to have been to answer the following question: how can business insure continued productivity from its' repatriated workers? At first, equating repatriation adjustment to work adjustment seems appropriate. After all, work is perhaps the single situation most capable of providing some satisfaction for all levels of needs (Roe, 1956). In society, work is an important vehicle for one's total adjustment because it may provide a focal point for the development of one's way of life (Dawis & Lofquist, 1984). As well, many repatriated business persons express concern about the impact that the foreign assignment has on their careers (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 1988). Those who are unable to manage the reentry adjustment, of which work adjustment is but one part, may experience considerable distress, loss of self esteem, and low life satisfaction (Adler, 1976; Werkman, 1986). Conversely, if the reentry adjustment process is well managed, the repatriate may integrate the overseas experience which may contribute to higher work performance and higher life satisfaction (Adler, 1976). However, repatriates are concerned with adjustment on a broader scale. For them, career adjustment is a life adjustment, and is more broadly defined than as a set of work related activities. Career, broadly defined, "involves the pursuit of goods such as meaningful work, security, friendship, and the like" (Cochran, 1991, p. 8). The formulation of clear career goals, as broadly defined, and the successful implementation of these goals upon return to the country of origin, may reaffirm self-identity and self-image, and positively contribute to overall reentry adjustment. It is evident that repatriation adjustment cannot be simply equated with work adjustment, because the repatriate makes adjustment not only to work, but to familial and personal relationships, the social-cultural environment, and even to themselves. The large proportion of repatriation literature concerning business people has considered work adjustment in isolation from the overall reentry adjustment. However, according to Larry Cochran (1991), to "consider work in isolation from an individual's life or even part of it such as family is an unnecessary distortion and an impoverishment that would make many [life] decisions unintelligible" (p. 7).  19  The largest criticism of the existing research on reentry experience of business personnel may be the overwhelming use of the work adjustment framework as a means to understand the phenomena of reentry as experienced by business persons. According to Anderson (1994), this reflects the deep cleavage between separate disciplines interested in cross-cultural adaptation: many investigators analyze "their data in the light of their own professional interests, generally limiting themselves in addition to consideration of a particular type of subject" (p. 298). As a result, the cross-cultural research disciplines appear to be hermetic and "isolated from the broad stream of psychological adjustment literature" (p. 298). It is surprising that research, conducted on business repatriates, have almost completely ignored other theoretical approaches to crosscultural reentry.  Identity and Cross-Cultural Adaptation Cross-cultural adjustment and career development theories have at least one common denominator: adjustment of the individual to the environment in which he or she lives and works. However, the various models of cross-cultural transition differ from work adjustment theories in that the repatriate, not the businesses for which they work, is the main focus. Specifically, these models discuss the phenomena of reentry from different psychological frameworks. Therefor, a review of the various models will shed light on the various research gaps as they apply to business repatriates. However, because several models of cross-cultural transition converge with respect to the construct of identity, this term requires an introduction and definition.  Identity Unfortunately, "we lack a clear idea of what identity actually is" (Baumeister, 1986, p. 4). According to Landrine (1992), identity is a set of self-attitudes which reflect both a description and a valuation of one's behavior and attributes. Baumeister (1986), has written that identity is "a definition, an interpretation, of the self (p. 4). Although the term identity was coined by Erikson (1956) in the twentieth century, Baumeister (1986) points out that, people, in different  20  epochs, have always had identities. The modern difficulty with identity, however, is that, more so than in the past, when the notion of identity was conferred upon the individual by virtue of his or her religious status, gender, social status, vocation, and age, among other factors, identity has increasingly become a concept internal to the individual. The inner self, "is considered large, stable and continuous, unique, vitally important, real and difficult to know" (Baumeister, 1986, p. 265). For this study, it is important to consider alternative cultural conceptions of the self. First, the results of this study may be limited to certain cultures, and second, many models of crosscultural adaptation originated in the west and may be culturally bias. According to Ochberg (1992),  specific cultures make available only certain opportunities, certain styles of interaction, certain forms of discourse, only a limited range of self-understanding is possible. What counts as worthwhile, plausible, even intelligible is culturally delimited. This influence is not restricted to the subjective interpretation of obviously social life: careers, families, and so on. The most seemingly private "self experiences - our emotions, our bodies, our autobiographies stand revealed as the work of cultural mediation (p. 230).  Landrine (1992) makes a distinction between the self of western humankind, the referential self, and the self of many other cultures, such as that of the First Nations People of North America, the indexical self.  The referential self can be described without reference to others and context: the self can be reflected upon; it can be thought about, analyzed and discussed in isolation. Therefor, one can be aware of it, and conscious of it.... [it is] presumed to be a cognitive and emotional universe, the center of awareness, emotion, judgment, and action (p. 403).  On the other hand, the indexical self  is not an entity existing independently from the relationships and contexts in which it is presented .... [it] is not discreet, bounded, fully separate, or unique .... [it is] constituted by social interactions, contexts, and relationships (p. 406).  (For a more thorough discussion of referential and indexical selves see Landrine, 1992).  21  The distinction between the referential self and the indexical self may, however, be fuzzy. According to Berger (1963), "identities that we consider to be our essential selves have been socially assigned ... identity is socially bestowed, socially sustained and socially transformed" (p. 98).  Westerners still have culturally sanctioned identities: "One cannot be human all by oneself  and, apparently, one cannot hold on to any particular identity all by oneself (p. 100). However, a strong argument can be made for the notion that, in this epoch, at least for western humankind, it has increasingly become the individual's responsibility to create and shape his or her inner self. In effect, the modern dilemma of identity is applicable to those who seriously confront the multiplicity of options available in cultures for which there are no reliable or correct ways of choosing (Baumeister, 1986). The Western concept of self-hood has also been described by George Herbert Mead in the nineteen thirties. Mead (1934) makes a distinction between the social self, comprised of the social roles people are required to play, and the private self, the moral concept of what people truly consider themselves to be. Prior to Mead, William James conceptualized the self as a duplex construction: the T and the 'Me'. "The Me is the 'empirical self that can be known, the object of the self-reflective man or woman's inquiry, the product of the self-generating man or woman's life striving. The I on the other hand, is the 'pure ego' that knows" (McAdams, 1991, p. 134). According to Gagnon (1992), the Western concept of self has its origins in the crisis of cultural life during the late eighteenth century. "The failure of the French Revolution, the consolidation of early capitalism, and the establishment of a new dominant class, the bourgeois, led to diffuse existential experiences of alienation". However, according to Campbell (1988) and Rabine (1985), the western concept of self has its roots as far back as the twelfth century myth of Tristan and Isolde. This myth is not only a romance, it is the story of the birth of the modern Western concept of self. However, what is important to note is that the construct of self, whether it be referential, indexical, social, private, or a moral construct, is also largely a cultural construct. Furthermore, it is largely the response of individuals to explain personal experiences during times of cultural crisis that give rise to new conceptions of the self (Gagnon, 1992).  22 For the purpose of this paper, the term 'identity formation' will refer to a process undertaken by those who grapple with the more "difficult aspects of defining the self, such as the establishing of long-term goals, major affiliations, and basic values" (Baumeister, 1986, p. 4). As the reader will note in the following section, issues of identity are common to several models of cross-cultural adaptation.  Models of Cross-cultural Adaptation It was not until the early sixties that the investigation of reentry phenomena began. John and Jeanne Gullahorn (1963) argued that repatriates underwent a "re-acculturation in their home environment similar to that experienced abroad" (p. 38). The recuperative model of culture shock holds that recovery, from the shock of being in an unfamiliar culture, is the impetus for accommodation to a changed life (Lysgaard, 1955). The Gullahorns (1963) extended this notion and proposed that during both entry and reentry, the individual moves through four stages: (a) the honeymoon stage where individuals are fascinated by the new or home culture, (b) culture shock/reentry shock stage in which the initial cultural infatuation is followed by a period of disillusionment and frustration, (c) adaptation stage, in which the individual learns/relearns how to behave appropriately according to the cultural norms of the host/home country, and (d) mastery, which is characterized by increases in the individuals ability to function effectively in the new/old culture. The Gullahorns' recuperative model of cross-cultural reentry related the experiences of American students and faculty. Since that time, various sojourners have been studied. These include government employees (Adler, 1981), military personnel (Faulkner & McGraw, 1977; Miller, Martin, & Jay, 1991), church and youth workers (Adler, 1976; Moore, Jones, & Austin, 1987; Stringham; 1993), students (Rohrlich & Martin, 1991; Westwood, Lawrence, & Paul, 1986), and business personnel (Adler, 1981; Black & Gregersen, 1992; Cagney, 1975; Mathews, 1994; Tung, 1988). A variant of the recuperative model, is the view that cross-cultural adaptation is initiated by a crisis of personality or identity (Anderson, 1994). Reentry shock is often regarded as 'reverse  23 culture shock' (Martin, 1984), and as such, theoretical conceptualizations and features of culture shock are thought to apply to reentry shock. Kalvero Oberg (1960) identified identity confusion as a feature of culture shock. Later, Nash and Shaw (1963) viewed culture shock as an "anxiety state resulting from the individual's inability to maintain a sense of sameness or continuity in a new situation" (p. 252). Sense of sameness or continuity are two crucial components in Airport's (1955) conception of identity. Another proponent of the conception of culture shock as a problem of identity is psychologist Peter Adler (1975). In his view "an encounter with another culture evolves into an encounter with the self (p. 18). Other researchers (Bennett, 1977; Dyal & Dyal, 1981; Kim, 1988) have also linked intrapersonal communication, which includes aspects of self-concept and identity, to theories of intercultural communication and adjustment. However, as Sussman (1986) points out, these theories omit problems of reentry shock. Why would a person encounter problems upon returning to a culture which is well known? In response to this question, Zaharna (1989), has proposed the concept of'Self-shock'. In contrast to culture shock, which is seen as a reaction to contact with a culturally different 'Other', and in contrast to reentry shock, which is seen as an unexpected reaction to contact with a culturally similar 'Familiar', self-shock is an extended reaction "to the differences with the Self 'something is different, not quite right, about me' - that are brought about by challenges to selfidentities and identity-bound behaviors" (p. 516). Zaharna (1989) argues that the need to establish and maintain consistent self-identities is primarily accomplished by understanding the sociocultural meanings for behaviors and sharing them with others. However, in intercultural encounters, the newly arrived individual is at a disadvantage to sort through the ambiguous meaning of the many culturally different behaviors. And "because the individual does not share meanings, the individual's ability to confirm selfidentities is drastically diminished" (p. 517). For example, the expatriate may experience 'Self-shock' upon entry to a different culture. As expatriates make identity bound behavior changes to adapt to the different culture, they may become more cognizant of Self, but the intrapersonal dynamics between Self, Other, and  24 behavior is a process that occurs primarily out of their awareness (Zaharna, 1989). Upon reentry, the out-of-awareness change of identity bound behaviors becomes evident, hence the repatriate experiences reentry shock. However, a second criteria of identity, differentiation, which is often overlooked, may also play a role at reentry. As Baumeister (1986) relates: "A person having an identity crisis is not necessarily seeking continuity in his or her life; rather, that person may be seeking some mark of differentiation, something to set himself or herself off from others" (p. 15-16). Of paramount importance in Zaharna's conceptualization of self-shock, is the individual's need to maintain a consistent stable sense of self. However, upon reentry, the individual who senses that he or she has changed, may experience invalidation by those, such as friends, family, and co-workers, who pay lip service to his or her attempts to communicate their personal changes. As Mathew's (1994) research implies, it is possible that at reentry, the repatriate may be seeking differentiation, something that reestablishes their uniqueness within their familiar home culture. Perhaps, the two different aspects of identity, continuity and differentiation, play different roles in identity formation at the different cross-cultural transitions. The second broad family of models, views cross-cultural adaptation as a learning process; sojourners learn the parameters of the sociocultural system and acquire the sociocultural skills, such as communication for effective social interaction (Gudykunst & Kim, 1984; Kim, 1988), as well as, appropriate social behaviors, necessary for participating in it (Anderson, 1994). The extent to which these models apply to repatriates is questionable; presumably, most repatriates retain knowledge of effective communication and social behavior skills. However, there may be some sociocultural changes that may require learning on the behalf of repatriates. For example, repatriates may need to become familiar with new methods of accessing the labor market, such as use of the international computer network. The third family of models propose that cultural adaptation is a combined process of the first two models: recovery and learning. These models view the cross-cultural adjustment process as a journey from the fringes, to the center, of a foreign culture. In the case of reentry, the repatriates journey would be from the fringes of the home culture to its center. Bennett  25 (1986) has described the end point of this journey as the development of'ethnorelativism': where differences observed in different cultures are integrated into the sojourners' world view. The Minority Identity Development model (MID) proposed by Atkinson, Morten, and Sue (1979), is typical of the recovery and learning models. They propose a five stage process where the attitude of the sojourner towards how she/he views: (a) self, (b) others of the same minority (other repatriates), (c) others of another minority, and (d) majority individuals (home culture), evolves to an integrated appreciation for self, and for those who are culturally different. The expatriate/migrant evolves a new world view, a new cross-cultural identity. In theory, this model may apply to repatriates, however, it has not, to this researcher's knowledge, been tested on repatriates. A model that is similar to the MID model is Ishiyama's (1995) model of Cultural Conflict. Ishiyama discusses the nature of cross-cultural conflicts in terms of self-validation themes: (a) security, comfort and support vs. insecurity, discomfort and abandonment; (b) self-worth and self-acceptance vs. self-deprecation and self-rejection; (c) competence and autonomy vs. incompetence and helplessness; (d) identity and belonging vs. identity loss and alienation; and (e) love fulfillment and meaning in life vs. lovelessness, emptiness, and meaninglessness. According to Ishiyama (1995), cross-cultural adjustments, including home culture reentry, inevitably involve these psychological themes. Those who experience undervalidation or invalidation of self, characterized by the negative psychological themes during cross-cultural transitions, experience cultural dislocation: the subjective experience of feeling not at home in their current cultural environment. It is a composite experience of lack of validation of self and cultural uprootedness, cultural attachment and homesickness, and conflicts based on cultural differences" (p. 263). Repatriates, who have strongly assimilated host culture values and competencies, may experience the "feeling of being uprooted where important emotional bonds and cultural roots are left behind" (Ishiyama, 1995, p. 265). As a result, they may experience conflicts with aspects of their home culture. Alternatively, individuals may "experience conflicts and ambivalence with both host and home cultures" (p. 268).  26 Ishiyama (1995), Westwood, Lawrence and Paul (1986), and Adler (1976), agree that grief and a sense of existential vacuum, can be experiences of those who undergo cultural relocation. Furthermore, the unsettling, and possibly, unnerving realization that one is culturally dislocated in one's home culture, can be a severe challenge to one's own identity and self-concept. Faced with such changes, those who make cross-cultural transitions, strive to reaffirm self-identity and self-image in the face of absent or weak environmental support (Anderson, 1994). Through grief and search for meaning, individuals may incorporate both host and home culture values and ways of thinking into their unique world view. In other words, repatriates may "begin to form their own bi-cultural and unique internalized culture, or what may be called 'psychoculture'" (Ishiyama, 1995, p. 263). Unlike the MID, the Cultural Conflicts Model does not propose a specific temporal order as 'development' towards bi-cultural integration and validation of the ethnic self... Some may choose not to accommodate or assimilate to the host [and home] culture, and decide to live with host [and home] cultural conflicts as a compartmentalized dimension of life in a foreign [or familiar] culture (Ishiyama, 1995, p. 268).  The counseling implications of Ishiyama's model are that the counselor "needs to work respectfully and collaboratively with clients, to understand the complex nature of their experience of cultural dislocation and psychosocial effects" (p. 273). The fourth family of cross-cultural adaptation models are the equilibrium models. In these models, cross-cultural adaptation is viewed as a "dynamic and cyclical process of tension reduction" (Anderson, 1994, p. 296). Sojourners strive to maintain a satisfactory internal balance of tension, drive, need, and uncertainty, that may become imbalanced upon confrontation with a foreign culture, or unexpected confrontation with a familiar culture. Once the individual attains the aspired-to level of functioning, they are thought to be in a state of internal balance. From this perspective, human behavior is seen as a mechanically learned response to stimuli rather than an expression of meaningful experience. A n example of the equilibrium model is Torbiorn's (1982). In this model, the process of cross-cultural adaptation is viewed in terms of the interplay between the environment, the  27 individual's behavior, and their perceptual frame of reference. The adjustment process continues until the individual is satisfied with level of functioning he or she has attained in the various realms of his or her life. The theory of work adjustment and other career development theories might fit within this cross-cultural adjustment paradigm. The final model presented is that of Linda Anderson. Anderson (1994) seeks "to span the gulf that has separated cross-cultural adaptation from the broad body of adjustment literature" (p. 299). It incorporates features of other cross-cultural adaptation models and relates these to the basic psychological constructs. An individual's adaptations to cross-cultural encounters and obstacles are in the cognitive, affective, and behavioral realms, and a variety of outcomes are possible. Anderson's (1994) model proposes six features of cross-cultural adjustment: (a) adaptation to obstacles in the novel cultural, such as values, and coming to terms with loss of familiar and/or loved objects of the home, and feelings of homesickness and values under siege; (b) learning new rules for interpreting the new cultural environment and initiating appropriate cultural behavior, and problem solving; (c) a stranger-host relationship in which new arrivals must modify their frame of reference to adapt to that of the group; (d) cross-cultural adaptation as a cyclical, continuous and interactive process; (e) success of cross-cultural adaptation as relative to the individual sojourner, and (f) cross-cultural adaptation as a vehicle for personal growth. As a whole, most models of cross-cultural transition fall into two broad psychological paradigms. Although there is no clear cut distinctions between the models, broadly speaking, the learning and equilibrium models can be categorized into the learning (stimulus - response) psychological paradigm. In other words, the repatriation adjustment is seen as a response to a change in environmental stimulus. On the other hand, Zaharna's, Ishiyama's, and Anderson's models, as well as the MID and the identity variant of the recuperative model, can be categorized into the cognitive school of psychology. That is, repatriates' perceptions and cognitions are paramount in their response to changes in their life circumstances. From the cognitive perspective, constructs such as self-concept or identity, as well as world view, become important  28 aspects of the repatriation process. However, to date, identity change as it relates to repatriates, has not been well researched. Furthermore, there is no consensus on the duration of impact of the reentry experience upon an individual. Some models propose that reentry is a sequence of stages, with a definite end of adjustment that is usually reached within a given time frame. While others, such as Ishiyama's cultural conflict model, propose that reentry adjustment is not a sequence of stages, nor is there necessarily an optimum end point of, or even an end to, adjustment. Other models of cross-cultural entry and reentry have been proposed (Freedman, 1980; Rhinesmith, 1975), but on the whole there is little empirical evidence to support models of crosscultural adaptation (Ishiyama, Westwood, & Farrokh, 1990). However, these models are not with out utility; they provide a conceptual guide for the sojourner to normalize emotional upheavals encountered during cross-cultural transitions (Mathews, 1994).  An Alternative Approach to Reentry What those who choose to work abroad really wish to know is how the cross-cultural experience will impact them personally. So far, the application of work adjustment theory can inform repatriates of the potential difficulties of the adjustment to work, but it fails to inform repatriates of non work adjustment challenges, including identity change. On the other hand, the models of cross-cultural adaptation have little empirical validation. The challenge for those who choose to study reentry is to select a methodology that can further describe how this process impacts repatriates. Is it as process of adaptation to an old environment facilitated mostly by adjustment to work? Is it identity development, or a process of self understanding within different cultural contexts? Is it some combination or all of these together? To begin to answer these questions necessitates that in-depth, personal accounts of repatriates be studied from a qualitative research perspective. However, what is missing, in both the work adjustment and cross-cultural adaptation research streams, are not the anecdotal accounts, but the in-depth narratives of repatriates' experience of reentry. Much of the research conducted on repatriates has employed a standardized question approach, such as Likert-type  29  questionnaires or a standard interview approach, in which the emphasis is on fixed response categories combined with systematic sampling procedures, quantitative measures and statistical analysis. However, as Mishler (1986) points out, these types of inquiry are "inappropriate for and inadequate to study ... how individuals perceive, organize, give meaning to, and express their understandings of themselves, their experiences, and their worlds" (p. ix). As well, these approaches fail to examine how respondents' understandings are related to their cultural, social, and personal circumstances (Mishler, 1986). To date, there are few studies of how the experience of reentry shapes repatriates' lives. The personal experience of cross-cultural reentry may inform researchers of hitherto unknown aspects of the phenomena. At the very least, personal accounts may provide other repatriates with a blueprint, or framework, to further understand their own repatriation process. One methodology, that may aid in the investigation of the meaning of reentry for repatriates, is the life story or narrative, methodology. In narrative methodology, the self is construed as a narrative or story, rather than as a thing (the referential self), or as a network of relations (the indexical self). When the 'self is viewed from the perspective as a narrative or story, the temporal and developmental dimensions of human existence come to light (Polkinghorne, 1991a). In other words, 'individuals construct private and personal stories linking diverse events of their lives into unified and understandable wholes. These stories are about the self. They are the basis of personal identity and self-understanding' (p. 136).  Like stories in literature, our life stories embody settings, scenes, characters, plots, and recurrent themes. And like stories in literature, the stories we tell ourselves in order to bring together diverse elements into an integrated whole, organize the multiple and conflicting facets of our lives within a narrative framework which connects past, present, and an anticipated future and confers upon our lives a sense of sameness and continuity - indeed, an identity (McAdams, 1988, p. 18).  According to Taylor (1989):  It is not only that I need time and many incidents to sort out what is relatively fixed and stable in my character, temperament, and desires from what is variable and changing. It is also that as a being who grows and becomes I can only know myself through the history of my maturations and regressions, overcoming and defeats.  30  M y self-understanding necessarily has temporal depth and incorporates narrative (p. 50).  Charlotte Linde (1993) defines a life story as "a temporally discontinuous unit told over many occasions and altered to fit the specific occasions of speaking, as well as specific addressees, and to reflect changes in the speaker's long-term situation, values, understandings and (consequently) discursive practices" (p. 51). According to Linde, the narrative is a significant social resource for not only creating and maintaining personal identity, but also to convey that sense of self to negotiate with others. Turner (1980) argues that "stories provide a way to articulate and resolve core, universal problems, so as to avoid cultural crisis and discontinuities and the disruption of social relationships" (p. 151-152). Perhaps, it is through story that people chart their referential selves in the contexts of their relationships, interactions, and social context; stories may allow people to track and unite aspects of both referential and indexical selves. Scheibe (1986) holds that stories of narrative selfidentities are "embedded in and constructed out of a person's particular cultural environment" (p. 144). Rather than view ourselves as authors of our life stories, Polkinghorne (1991a) suggests that we are more akin to narrators, who construct plots or story lines that integrate and give meaning to all the critical events that have been part of our existence. Even the plots used in the construction of our self-narratives are not usually created from scratch, but are adaptations of plots from the literary and oral stories produced by one's culture (p. 147).  The life story, life history, or narrative methodological approach has been widely used in anthropological (Watson & Watson-Franke, 1985), sociological (Bertaux & Kohli, 1984; Ellis & Flaherty, 1992), and psychological studies (Mishler, 1986; Polkinghorne, 1991b; Sarbin, 1986). Many of the life history studies have focused on individuals within one given cultural framework. However, there are few formal life history studies that have focused on individuals who have experienced cross-cultural reentry, and none that have focused specifically on business repatriates. If self understanding is shaped by culture, as Ochberg (1992) and others (Polkinghorne, 1991b; Watson & Watson-Franke, 1985) propose, then what happens to  31  individuals' self-understanding if they experience cultural dislocation? How are their narratives shaped? Are there general themes, generic plots or story lines, that typify experiences of reentry? The cross-cultural experience of working overseas can be likened to a story. The individual chooses to leave the home country, resides for a prolonged period in a culturally different place, and then returns. What is important to note however, is that when a person recounts the story of their lives prior to, during, and following their time abroad, they are theoretically shaping a personal narrative, an identity. Thus, an investigation of personal narratives concerning how reentry shapes life stories can inform researchers of the phenomena of reentry. In this approach, the phenomena of reentry are not straight-jacketed into by one theoretical conception. The different themes of reentry: adjustment to a new environment or work; a process of grief, self understanding, or identity change; as well as unknown themes, can emerge.  32  C H A P T E R III R e s e a r c hM e t h o d o o lg y  R e s e a r c hD e s g in R a t o in a e l  The purpose of this research is to gain an understanding of how the experience of crosscultural reentry impacts a person's life story, impacts a person's identity formation. The research of the subjective experience of reentry will employ a hermeneutic - phenomenological, case study research approach. However, the skeptic may express at least two reservations concerning this approach to discover the 'truth' of the reentry phenomena. First, why should the reader accept an interpretation of a phenomena? Second, can the case study approach address concerns of research reliability, validity, and generalizability? The next two sections will attempt to respond to these questions.  N a r r a t i v et r u t h . To answer the first question one must return to the two broad philosophical streams of phenomenlogical research. According to the descriptive phenomenology position, the goal of phenomenologically informed research is to produce clear, precise, and systematic descriptions of the meaning of an aspect of human experience (Polkinghorne, 1989, p. 44). This position is based upon the philosophical position, as advocated by Husserl (cited in Giogi, 1985; Osborne, 1990), that through the process of making explicit the researchers' presuppositions or assumptions (bracketing), a description can reveal the meaning of the object of study. On the other hand, interpretive phenomenological position, as advocated by Heidegger, Gadamer, and Ricoeur (cited in Silverman, 1994), and better known as hermeneutic phenomenology, contends that experience is always contextual and not without presuppositions. Therefore, making meaning of an experience becomes an interpretive act (Polkinghorne, 1989; Silverman, 1994). The difference between the two philosophical positions has been written by Silverman (1994) like this: "phenomenological description is an account of the meaning of  33 something, phenomenological interpretation is the act of producing or establishing meaning" (p. 11). There are several reasons for use of the hermeneutic - phenomenology approach in this study. First, the interviewee no longer has direct experience of the event, what they have is recollection of the event. As Bruner (1984) relates: there is no necessary "correspondence between a life as lived, a life as experienced, and a life as told" (p .7). The researcher collects data several times removed from the actual flow of the experience. As well, an interview is the joint product of what interviewees and interviewers talk about together and how they talk with each other. Furthermore, the act of reflecting on an experience by subjects alone, or during the interview process, effects a change in awareness of the subjective meaning of the experience (Watson & Watson-Franke, 1985). The record of an interview that we researchers make and then use in our work of analysis and interpretation is a representation of that talk (Mishler, 1986, p. vii). Second, in order to make sense of the events of the world, people have to interpret those events in terms of what is meaningful to them (Gergen, 1988). Stories are the predominant way that humans make sense of complex experiences. The deep understanding of a story is an interpretive act. For example, The Bible, The Illiad, The Odyssey, and The Koran, may be read as entertainments, but the reader may not grasp the wisdom beyond the words without a hermeneutic reading of the texts. Third, the researcher approaches data with a cultural-interpretive framework. No matter how conscientious to bracket his or her own assumptions and presuppositions, a researcher understands a story from his or her unknown cultural and unconscious bias. To echo MerleauPonty's (1962) viewpoint, the elimination of all presupposition from a researcher's approach is impossible. According to Collins and Young (1992), knowledge of human action is always interpretive and depends on the presuppositions of the observer. It is at this point that the skeptic may raise the objection concerning the use of the hermeneutic - phenomenological approach to the study of life experiences. If a story is an interpretive reconstruction, how then can the 'true meaning' of an event be discerned? This  34  question reflects the fundamental problem that lies at the core of interpretive research (Bertaux & Kohli, 1984). One answer to this question is that the phenomenologist is not interested "in the 'true' event, as it may have been recorded by a group of disinterested observers, but of that event within the personal and social history" (Rosenwald & Ochberg, 1992, p. 3). Hermeneutics makes no claim to defining the "objective true meaning" of an event (Bertaux & Kohli, 1984; Watson & Watson-Franke, 1985). To evaluate the factuality of stories would be difficult to say the least (Linde, 1993). Rather, the truth that the phenomenologist prizes is the 'narrative truth'. Spence (1982) defines narrative truth as "the criterion we use to decide when a certain experience has been captured to our satisfaction; it depends on continuity and closure and the extent to which the fit of the pieces takes on an aesthetic finality" (p. 31). In other words, a 'true story' carries conviction, is coherent, and is believable. According to Jean-Paul Sarte, stories may provide a deeper truth than discreet empirical and objective facts concerning 'reality' (McAdams, 1991). The interpreter of stories is interested in the coherence of the text, and is not consumed with the factuality of the text. Coherence, a property of texts, is derived from two sources (Linde, 1993). First, "it comes from the relations that the parts of the text bear toward one another and to the whole text, as well as from the relation that the text bears to other texts of its type" (p. 12). Second, it is a cooperative achievement between the interviewer and interviewee. The interviewee works to produce a text that is coherent, and the interviewer works to achieve some understanding of the text as coherent and to communicate that understanding. To the extent that the researcher can focus on the structure of the text, the interpretive investigation can reveal much about processes common to entire cultures, as well as processes particular to interviewees (Linde, 1993). However, the reader is not requested to accept the interpretation of the researcher on his or her word alone. Hermeneutic research is not without rigor, otherwise interpretation may be nothing more than researcher's subject dribble. The rigor of the hermeneutic approach is in its focus on the life story "as a text or discourse to be interpreted ... and on the interpreter of the  35  text" (Watson & Watson-Franke, 1985, p. 59). According to Watson and Watson-Franke (1985), the interpretation of a text is something "whose meaning is revealed, not by imposing massive external constructs, but by 'making room' (listening) to accommodate the foreign frame of reference that brought it into being" (p. 58). In order to 'listen' the researcher attempts to take into account and make explicit: (a) the sociocultural context of the individual to fully comprehend the experiences and events that the text describes; (b) the individual context that defines the interplay between the individual and his or her culture, which in turn, influences the personal narrative; (c) the immediate context of the life history construction, that is the context in which the life history is elicited and negotiated; (d) the pre-understandings of the researcher which will color his or her interpretation of the life story; and (e) the dialectical relationship of the researcher with the text, in which the researcher must bridge the gap between his or her pre-understandings of the event and the life history text in order to understand the life story and themselves in a different way (Watson & Watson-Franke, 1985). That is, the product of a life story interpretation incorporates something of the subjective reference and context world of the text and of the researcher. The text is derived from the research interview. The phenomenological interview is guided by principles that aim "to ascertain respondents' 'true' opinions and minimize possible distortions and biases in responses that may result from question or interview variables that interfere with respondents' abilities and wishes to express their 'real' or 'true' views" (Mishler, 1986, p. 15). To help interviewees express their 'true' opinions, Mishler argues it is necessary to address the power imbalance inherent in the interview context between the researcher and the interviewee. In other words, if the interviewee feels empowered to speak in his or her own voice, he or she may over come the propensity to give guarded and socially desired descriptions. If the power balance is shifted, respondents are more likely to relate personal narratives that are rich and thick in personal meaning. However, no matter how careful the researcher accounts for his or her own presuppositions, no matter how skilled he or she is at empowering the interviewee to speak in their own voice, and no matter how faithfully the researcher struggles to engage in a truly honest  36 and open dialogue with the text, the hermeneutic interpretation will be incomplete. A life story is created out of personal experiences and the stories gathered through research interviewing may be regarded as truthful reflections at the time of their telling. However, at any given point in time, it is subject to revision. As such, interpretation of life stories are also subject to revision. Gadamer reminds us that "a bad hermeneuticist believes he or she could or should have the last word" (cited in Watson & Watson-Franke, 1985, p. 45). What is hoped for, is that future interpretations will probe ever deeper to yield more coherent meanings concerning the phenomenon in question (Watson & Watson-Franke, 1985).  Validity, reliability, and generalizability. I return to the second doubt raised in the reader's mind concerning the research legitimacy of the case study approach. The goal of phenomenological research is to understand a social phenomena from the participants' perspective (Schumacher & McMillan, 1993). As such, the emphasis is on discovery, description and meaning (Osborne, 1994). The case study is ideal for discovery-oriented research because it provides a "detailed description and analysis of processes or themes voiced by participants in a particular situation" (Schumacher & McMillan, 1993, p. 377). According to Yin (1994), case study research has furthered our understanding of organizational, social, political and individual phenomena. The case study can be used to explore, describe, or explain complex social phenomena and it has been widely used in psychology, business, social work, planning, sociology, and even economics. According to Yin (1994), the case study is the preferred research "strategy when 'how' and 'why' questions are being posed, when the investigator has little control over events, and when the focus is on a contemporary phenomena within some real-life context" (p. 1). This study qualifies for a case study approach in that the research question (How does the experience of reentry shape a business repatriates life history?) is a 'how' question of a contemporary phenomena. Furthermore, the investigator has had no control over events as they have impacted participants.  37 It is at this point that the skeptic may raise the objection concerning the use of the case study approach to address questions of research validity, and reliability. In other words, is this approach credible research? To respond to this concern is to detail how case studies account for validity, as well as reliability. In phenomenological case study research, issues of validity and reliability are accounted for by adherence to three principles while collecting data. First, use multiple sources of evidence to generate descriptions of the experience; second, create a study data base; and third, maintain a chain of evidence. This study used a multiple case study approach to enhance construct validity. Three coresearchers were interviewed. Following replication logic, each case was considered to be a single experiment and analysis followed a 'within', as well as 'an across', experiment design. "Evidence from a multiple case is often considered more compelling, and the overall study is therefore considered more robust" (Yin, 1994, p. 45). "Reliability refers to the extent to which independent researchers could discover the same phenomena" (Shumacher & McMillan, 1993, p. 385). In qualitative research the results are not completely replicable on an individual basis. Therefore, reliability is enhanced by making explicit the following aspects of research: researcher role, informant selection, social context, and data collection. Furthermore, the researcher is compelled to make explicit analysis strategies and premises, and to maintain a chain of evidence so that the reader of the case study can "follow the derivation of any evidence from initial research questions to ultimate case study conclusions" (p. 98). Reliability is also enhanced by creating a data base "so that others can review the evidence directly and not be limited to the written reports" (Yin, 1994, p. 95). The data base of this study consists of transcribed interviews. Reliability also refers to extent "to which there is agreement on the description of the phenomena between the researcher and participants" (Shumacher & McMillan, 1993, p. 385). To enhance internal reliability, the researcher can use mechanically recorded data to produce verbatim accounts of interviews. Furthermore, the researcher may request co-researchers to review and modify any misrepresentations of meaning derived from interview data.  38 "Internal validity refers to the degree to which the explanations [not descriptions] of phenomena match realities of the world" (Shumacher & McMillan, 1993, p. 391). In qualitative designs, internal validity is the "degree to which interpretations and concepts have mutual meanings between the participants and researcher" (Shumacher & McMillan, 1993, p. 391). To enhance internal validity the researcher engages in a lengthy, in-depth data collection period to ensure a match between participant reality and research based categories. Second, researchers use the co-researchers language to avoid misrepresentation. Third, research is conducted in a setting in which the co-researcher is comfortable to give an in-depth account of his or her experience. As well, the researcher engages in a process of rigorous self-monitoring, such as writing out potential biases before data collection begins. The external validity of case study research refers to the "degree to which the findings can be generalized to the population from which the participants were drawn" (Borg & Gall, 1989). Of all the criticisms of case study research, this is has been the most prevalent. "Critics typically state that single cases offer a poor basis for generalizing to a larger universe" (Yin, 1994, p. 36). This would be valid criticism of case study research if the study were to be regarded as an extension of survey research, which relies on statistical generalization to make inferences about larger populations. However, case study research relies on analytical generalization in which the researcher strives to generalize a particular set of results to some broader theory (Yin, 1994). According to Polkinghorne (1989), the issues of generalizability for phenomenological findings is concern with the specificity of the essential description of the experience. In multiple case study research, the emphasis is on a search for patterns of common structures, meanings, and themes among the various accounts, rather than on statistical generalization (Rosenwald, 1988; Yin, 1994). In summary, the hermeneutic case study approach can yield coherent, in-depth meanings of phenomena while obeying the rules of conducting credible research.  39 Procedures This section details the specific procedures of the case study research approach to provide credible answers to the research question. Briefly, the procedures that will be followed in this study are: 1) Identification of co-researchers. 2) Co-researcher screening interviews. 3) Narrative interview. a) empowering co-researchers. b) life line. c) interview to identify significant events and to elicit in-depth accounts of the experience of cross-cultural reentry. d) interview to identify possible future direction as impacted by experience of crosscultural reentry. 4) Transcription of interview audio-tapes and rendering of personal accounts of cross-cultural entry and reentry into case study accounts. 5) Comments concerning each personal account. 6) Validation interviews. a) check for errors of omission and misrepresentation. b) gather co-researcher responses to reading their personal accounts. c) revision of case study accounts. 7) Comparative analysis of the accounts.  Co-researchers In phenomenological research, co-researchers are chosen on the basis to provide rich descriptions of the experience being investigated, not on the basis to describe the characteristics of the group who have had the experience (Polkinghorne, 1989). According to Polkinghorne (1989), the number of subjects selected for a phenomenological study varies widely. Furthermore, the co-researchers must meet two selection criteria.  40  First, the co-researcher must have had the experience in question: cross-cultural reentry. The target experience is defined as the experience of cross-cultural reentry, by English speaking, Canadian who were engaged in overseas business, who have resided in a different culture for at least twelve continuous months. Second, the co-researcher must have the capacity to provide "full and sensitive descriptions of the experience under investigation" (Polkinghorne, 1989, p. 47). The second requirement has been further detailed by Adrian van Kaam (1969, cited in Polkinghorne, 1989) as the co-researcher's developed skills in the following areas:  (a) ability to express themselves linguistically with relative ease, (b) the ability to sense and experience inner feelings and emotions without shame and inhibition, (c) the ability to sense and to express the organic experiences that accompany these feelings, (d) the experience of the situation at a relatively recent date, (e) a spontaneous interest in their experience, and (f) the ability to report or write what was going on within themselves (p. 47-48).  Besides the first two selection criteria, Cochran and Claspell (1987) argue that coresearchers must meet a third selection criteria: the specific screening criteria of the study. In this study, candidates must have experienced a self-admitted 'stressful' re-adaptation to life in Canada. Second, co-researchers must have experienced a period of reentry sufficient to develop some perspective on his or her personal experience. This second screening criteria will improve external reliability of the study. Third, co-researchers must be long term residents of Canada (more than five years). Co-researcher candidates require at least one year (preferably longer) of continuous overseas business experience. Such a length of time is required for participants to learn host cultural competencies, values, attitudes, and ways of being. For this study, co-researchers were recruited from the international business community in Vancouver, Canada, as well as through a network of personal contacts. Firms were identified through the international trade literature. Human resource officers of firms were contacted through a letter of initial contact to determine their participation interest (see appendix C). Interested firms identified potential co-researchers and informed them of the opportunity to participate in the research study. Several candidates expressed interest in the project but were reluctant to participate because of time constraints, or apprehensions concerning the telling of  41  their story. Participants who expressed interest were required to sign a letter of consent (see appendix D).  Research Interviews The interviewing process was comprised of three parts: the screening, narrative, and the validation interviews.  The screening interview. The purpose of the screening interview was to select coresearchers who met the three selection criteria. The screening criteria took place over the telephone. Since potential co-researchers received a letter of initial contact that outlined the nature of the study some self-screening most likely occurred. The potential co-researcher was not asked if they experienced a shift in how they perceive themselves or their place in the world, since it is the purpose of the study to determine whether, and in what ways, the experience of reentry impacts identity. Each interview was conducted in the co-researchers' home where the co-researchers' felt comfortable to provide an in-depth account of his experience. The chosen location was an attempt to counter 'setting effects' that might have inhibit the co-researcher from giving a rich account of his or her experience.  The narrative interview. The purpose of the narrative interviews was to collect informant rich personal accounts of the experience of cross-cultural reentry. Initially, the consent form and a demographic questionnaire was administered to collect basic information concerning the coresearcher (see appendix E). This was followed by the construction of a 'life-line' on which the co-researcher was asked to briefly discuss their lives prior to, during, and after their work abroad. In other words, what were their formative experiences, aspirations, and life goals. What were their reasons for choosing to work abroad and what significant events occurred during the time abroad. The largest portion of the narrative interview was focused on the significant events the co-researcher experienced upon return to Canada. Finally, the focus of the interview refocused  42  on the future direction of the co-researcher's life. The interview was informal and questions were open ended (see appendix F). The duration of the interviews was between 120 to 180 minutes. Empowering co-researchers to tell their story in their own voice improved the internal and external validity of the study. First, a pilot interview was conducted in order to improve the interview skills of the researcher. To empower co-researchers to tell their stories the researcher provided a contract concerning the details of confidentiality. Third, the researcher disclosed the intent and step by step process of the research, as well as his own relevant background and experiences, and presuppositions. Furthermore, the researcher employed counseling skills to build rapport, and he answered any questions concerning the study itself. Finally, the researcher encouraged the co-researchers to control the content and flow of the interview; probes and comments were be used sparingly and only to clarify and elucidate meaning.  Validation interview. The main purpose of the validation interview was to validate the narrative account and counter 'maturation effects'. Having related their story once, the coresearcher may have formed more insights into their experience. By being involved in the rendering of the final account by checking for errors and misrepresentations, or by making additions, the co-researchers may feel further empowered. Furthermore, this process allows coresearcher responses to be recorded as a means of bolstering internal reliability: the agreement on the description or composition of the events, especially the meanings of the events, between the researcher and participant.  Case Study Accounts and Comments Once the interview was completed, the audio-tape was transcribed into a written text. The text was then rendered into a narrative account that adhered to principles of narrative research analysis as proposed by Mishler (1986). During an interview, a massive amount of personal information is gathered. Furthermore, the interviewee does not usually recount events in the sequence in which they occurred. The purpose of the narrative rendering of interviews is to manage the information gathered in the interview in order to give the stories a clarity and  43 coherence that verbatim transcripts would not. This was accomplished by chronologically ordering the account. That is, the sequence of events was rendered into a story, with a beginning, middle, and end. According to Mishler (1986, 1995), such an ordering gives the text a unity and coherence, a connected succession, in which a relation among the events, such as causality, implicativeness, or thematic coherence, emerges. When ever possible, the co-researcher's own words are used in the rendered text. The rendered text strives to maintain the essence of the account, and is subject to verification by the co-researchers. A comments section follows each narrative rendering. The purpose of the comments section is to elucidate the structures, movement, and plots of each narrative to highlight underlying themes and implications, and to offer tentative interpretations.  Comparative Analysis A hermeneutic approach was used to interpret each case study, as well as to compare the case studies collectively. It is hoped that rigorous adherence to the hermeneutic approach has allowed the researcher to look beyond the language to what it signifies: to find common themes of the reentry experience. Inductive reasoning was used to explore, discover, and generate understanding of the phenomena of reentry. A dialogue between the rendered texts and the researcher's knowledge and presuppositions concerning reentry has hopefully lead to a new understanding of the reentry phenomena. Discussion and delineation of alternative hypotheses were conducted. In the comparative analysis of narrative renderings, the emergent themes of the cross-cultural experience were named and described. Events, and themes and meanings were illustrated using excerpts of the co-researchers narrative accounts. The degree to which the explanations of phenomena match the realities of the world reflects internal validity of the study. The degree to which the rendered understanding of the reentry phenomena are generalizable to the other populations that experience reentry reflects the external validity of the study.  44  CHAPTER IV Results: Stories of Cross-Cultural Entry and Reentry  N's Story  Table #1 N : DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE  Name: N .  Date of Birth: 1950.  Ethnic Background English-Canadian. Education: B A in Economics.  Years of Education 16.  Relationship status: Widowed.  No. and ages of Children 1,15 years.  Length of Time Overseas: 19.5 years. Age at Return to Canada: 42 years Place of Overseas Assignment: England, 11 years, Ireland, 8.5 years. City : London, Dublin. Occupation / Nature of Overseas Work Assignment: International Trader, Banker, Investment Analyst. Length of time since return to Canada: 3.5 years. Nature of preparation, if any, for entry to host culture: No formal preparation. Nature of preparation, if any, for reentry to home culture: No formal preparation.  In 1973 at the age of 23, N left Montreal, Canada, to travel on an overland expedition through Europe. In Europe, N met and married a woman from Ireland. Together, they lived in London for a period often years and had one son. In London, N became a trader and financial analyst. In 1984 the family moved to Ireland. After working for an Irish Bank, N helped establish a financial consulting business. In 1991, N's wife became ill with cancer and died quite  45  suddenly. N dissolved his partnership, and started a home business to be nearer his son. He remained in Ireland until 1993, when he and his eleven year-old son came to Vancouver, Canada. N currently resides in Vancouver, and works in international finance.  N's cross-cultural story of entry and reentry really begins with his early family experiences. N remembers that some of the most memorable and fulfilling times in his life, were spent with his family when they traveled or sailed together. Throughout his youth, N traveled from his home in Montreal, to over thirty American States, and various parts of Canada. From these trips, N gained a sense of what he did, and did not, desire in life. His personal orientation to life (that which provides meaning and contributes to feelings of being fully alive) included experiences of meeting new people, seeing places, and experiencing different cultures with his family. N prized, and still prizes, the experience of discovery, education, adventure, family togetherness, and of belonging. Conversely, it was, and still is, "boring to stand still". Even today, N would rather drive some place, or see a museum, rather than spend two weeks at the beach. He still feels compelled to "always be doing something". As N matured into a young adult, he began to search for a way to integrate these desires into his life. He, like many young people, engaged in a period of exploring the opportunities in his environment. Prior to graduating from high school, N seriously considered furthering his education by enrolling on a Tall Ship that sailed to various parts of the world. Such a path would meets his desires for adventure and education, and, as a crew member, provide him with a sense of belonging. However, the service had gone bankrupt. Instead, N explored the opportunities of advanced education. His decision to attend university was, in part, fueled by his hope to secure a future. However, he was only vaguely aware of how he wished his desired future to unfold. In other words, N , as a young adult, had limited self-knowledge of his desires and dislikes. At that time, "circumstances were that you finished university, you got a job; that is the way things were dictated and jobs were easy to come by". He graduated in 1973 with an economics degree, and, after looking at advertisements on a university job board, N took a position with the federal police force. It was a government  46 job, and although he did not have much opportunity to use his economics background, it did pay well, and it sounded exciting. After a short time, N was placed as a civilian member in the force. However, in reality the position was quite boring. When N thought about what he was doing, he found it difficult to reconcile the nature of the work with his other desires. N began to look for other areas of police work where he could use his economics background. N made application for the fraud division. Motivated to be doing something worthwhile, and the fact that as a university graduate with experience, N could be promoted relatively rapidly through the system, he decided to become a full member of the federal police force. However, during the time of the physical training required of all non-civilian members of the federal police force, N severely tore a tendon in his foot. He was faced with a difficult rehabilitative process. N remembers experiencing real conflict concerning his decision to withdraw from the training. After all, a career in the Fraud Division of the police force might have satisfied many of N's desires. However, when the administration requested that N return to his former position, he refused. N was unwilling to return to the civilian position in Ottawa because he did not "believe in" what he was doing. He took voluntary discharge from the force and returned to his parents home. N still sometimes feels regret at having taken the 'easy way': of using the injury as a rationale for not completing the more difficult route of the completion of the training. He framed his experienced in the police force as one of failure. Lying flat on his back for two months in his parents house, gave N ample time to ruminate over his decision to leave the police force, his career path, and the direction his life might take. He felt restless and somewhat disillusioned, but was aware that he wished to be doing something he could believe in, something exciting, and something that might make use of his education. N felt compelled to resume his search for way to lead a fulfilling life. But how? It was at this juncture in his life that N experienced the feeling of being lost. Not only was he uncertain of his future direction, he was not sure what he wanted. N decided to go traveling on an Overland Expedition through Europe. In retrospect, he considered his decision to travel as a form of escapism: something that brought him alive and gave his life focus. For N , the decision to travel was a chance "to get away from the path I'd laid  47  out or had been laid out for me". By busying himself with the details of planning the year long trip, the feelings of being lost and of being metaphysically dead, were temporarily put at bay. The trip was a time-out from feeling overwhelmed and lost, and it also provided N with a sense of rejuvenation. Not only was he having many novel experiences, he met, and proposed to, S, an Irish woman. N described his relationship with S during their trip as a 'holiday romance' that became more serious. Although N had proposed to S, he intended to continue traveling without her on the Asia leg of his journey. However, two weeks into the trip, N was forced to return to London because he had injured his back. In effect, N was confronted with the stream of choices that arise with a marriage proposal: such as commitment to a future path with another person. He did this with out the benefit of time that the Asian leg of the trip would afford him. One "momentous decision" had to be made: where would they live? It was a turning point in his life because he had to make a decision between two conflictual desires: a return to his life path in Canada, or a new life path in Europe. N only vaguely sensed that latter had a ring of irreversibility; to return to his old path would be very difficult. N's decision was to "try" to make a life in England. There were several factors that he assessed, in the light of his personal circumstances, that influenced his decision. First, N had enjoyed the feeling of discovery and novelty of living in adventurous London: "a wonderful city" where "one could live there ten years and hadn't seen it all". Second, to return to Canada, was in effect to leave S, something he did not desire. She was very attached to living in Ireland, or at least close to it. On account of this, N believed that the immigration process for S to live in Canada would be more traumatic for her than his process to move to the U K (In fact, S did suffer severe homesickness for her family Ireland the first year the couple resided in London). Third, in London there were many job opportunities, while he had "no career path to go back to in Canada". At this point in his life London had very much to offer: a relationship, adventure, and career opportunities. If he returned to Canada, he risked not having these desires fulfilled. Although N describes his decision to remain in London as "no great sacrifice", it is clear that N's decision was not made wholeheartedly. N had a definite feeling of uncertainty as to  48  whether he would stay in England; he maintained his belief that he could resume a life in Canada if things did not work out in Europe. There were major drawbacks of relocation to the U K First, was the experience of separation from his immediate family. N reports feeling in limbo the entire time while he was in England with respect to his families in Canada and Ireland. N describes the meaning of family in his life as "part of the most important thing in my life, even to this day", and he considers himself as the "one who brings everyone together". Second, he experienced a degree of self-denial because his need for belonging remained unmet while he lived in Europe. Another example of his uncertainty of remaining overseas is reflected in the indecision to buy a house. N experienced a "cultural pressure to fit in to the society"; the purchase of the house was representative of his conflict to fit into English society. He resisted buying a house for five years. Furthermore, he was uncertain of how he would "fit in in the employment situation", and whether the English class system would effect his promotion prospects. S no doubt sensed N's conflict about remaining in England; she was "petrified" that N wanted to return to Canada. S felt relief that he "conceded to her wishes". N's desire to be in relationship, to be in an adventurous environment, and to have employment opportunity, out weighed the attraction of life in Canada as well as the drawbacks of life in England. After a while, N found work in London for a Swiss corporation that dealt in various electronics, pharmaceuticals, and mining and chemical products. The corporation had offices throughout Europe, as well as Australia and the United States. For six years, N enjoyed his position as an International Controller (Trader), and he traveled throughout Europe. He was well liked within the corporation. In fact, when his son was born in 1981, his co-workers had purchased a "room filled with baby stuff ... "it was the only time they ever did that for anybody". The arrival of his son necessitated many changes in N's life. First of all, his son P, had been born six weeks prematurely and had a very unusual sleep pattern. The child did not sleep through the night for three and one half years, nor did he nap through the day. Because P demanded much attention, N became so exhausted that he would fall asleep at work.  49 Furthermore, until the arrival of the child, N and S had enjoyed a dual income, but as new parents they had only one income. To maintain their lifestyle, N accepted the well paying position of Deputy Treasurer / Investment Risk Analyst for a very prestigious and renown British firm. The other deciding factor motivating the change in employers was that N felt a sense of stagnation with his former firm. He felt restless; he had been operating in his position as a "robot". The new position offered excitement, status, and "career development". In his new position, N experienced a buoyant feeling of strong self-esteem: he was doing what he wanted to do not simply for the money but for the appeal of the job. At this point in his life, N felt quite satisfied. He enjoyed his role as a father and husband, and had established a home. Furthermore, doing top treasury work and trading in worldwide markets was initially very exciting. However, his sense of partial fulfillment did not last long. The firm adopted a new business strategy soon after N's arrival. They sold off over 250 companies in three months. The affect on N was that his job changed to become very report driven and "boring". After having reached the "pinnacle" of his career, N felt "let down". Although N had seemingly experienced a progressively mobile career path, he still had the sense of being on an extended holiday. When asked to characterize the predominant feeling of living in England, N replied that he felt estranged, an outsider, of being Canadian and not English. He felt he "did not belong" ... "did not fit in in England". As well, ten years after he had been in the U K , N's father made a comment that resonated with his own feelings: when was N going to move back to Canada and start a career? Such comments contributed to the feeling of being alienated from others, and of experiencing an uncomfortable reshaping of his own cultural identity. N began to realize that the feeling of limbo, of uncertainty of residing in England that had characterized his ten years there, was partially his reluctance to decide once and for all that he would not return to Canada. The arrival of N's son was also a very defining moment in N's life. For him it signaled a realization of one's total responsibilities, where one has to make "definite decisions" to make one's niche; to "once and for all find a career path"; after all he was "responsible for another life".  50 Having experienced the feeling of not belonging in England, both he and S were concerned that P should have at least one firm cultural identity of his parents: Irish or Canadian. Neither parent wanted their son to experience the cultural estrangement that each experienced while living in England. When faced with difficult decisions in England, N searched for a way to satisfy his desires, and those of his family. Although he had been able to build a career and a family, buy a house and live an adventurous life, the foundations where at best, temporary. N was not able to establish a sense of belonging in England, and he did not reinforce the foundations of his life there. The couple moved to Ireland for several reasons. First, it was S's country and the place where her family resided. Not only would their young son grow up in Irish culture, but N would have the 'security' of belonging to another family. Second, the move was financed by a lucrative pay out package offered by the London firm; N banked a years wages. For N , leaving England was a matter of leaving a "boring job", and selling the house and much of what they owned. They did not miss much about what they had sold off. But more importantly, N attempted to resolve his uncertainty about not returning to Canada; he was determined to make a life with his wife and young son in Ireland. However, once again, the period of transition was characterized by a sense of uncertainty. N "didn't really think that things would work out in Ireland ... but was going to give it everything to prove to S that if they had to go to Canada there was no alternative". In other words, if N exhausted all opportunity in Ireland, S's transition to Canada would be easier if there was no other doubt in her mind that Canada was the only option. As well, N was aware that S was unexpectedly experiencing a feeling of not belonging in Ireland. For example, S had been estranged from the church for ten years, but being from a staunch Catholic family she was "expected to fall back right in to the ways". She saw Irish culture as "being very narrow"; she recognized "inadequacies within the country"; she couldn't adapt back into her own family; "her eyes had been opened ... to see Ireland in this new view ... really disturbed her ... she was very critical of Ireland". The effect of S's experience contributed  51  to N's hope that S would not be so adamantly against moving to Canada if he didn't find the employment he desired. N desired to return to Canada, but conceded to his spouse's somewhat shaken desire to live in Ireland, so as to not cause her pain. N suppressed his desire to return to Canada because, uppermost in his mind, he desired to find stable employment. N studiously researched every local company in the Dublin area at the local library. Not surprisingly, he soon landed a position with an Irish bank. His indecisiveness about living outside Canada, transformed from uncertainty to resigned acceptance. N began to accept the prospect that he would not return to Canada; he would live his life in Ireland and deal with events as they occurred. However, if he would not live in Canada, then he would satisfy his desire for 'Canadiana' in his life. N mentions that he purchased a large house with six bedrooms. It gave him a sense of space, something he had missed by not living in Canada. He built a large brick barbecue, gardened, and delighted that one room in his house had Canadian Maple paneling. With the security of a job, the growing sense of stability N derived from the thought of belonging to his Irish family (very much "a carbon-copy of his Canadian family"), and the knowledge that his son would be have at least an Irish cultural identity, N was more committed to a life path in Ireland. In 1988 however, after four years in the Bank, N had grown tired of the work and the 14 hour days. There was no adventure in his life. He was disillusioned, dissatisfied and depressed. He had neither ambition nor a sense of his personal future, and his marriage had suffered as a result. The life he had build was under siege, not from an external threat, but from N's recognition of his own unmet desires. This was the next transition point in his life when he decided to seriously consider what it was that he really wanted. Taking stock, N had been able to successfully accommodate much of what he desired in to his life: a relationship, a child, and property. Yet, he was not fulfilled. After some 'soul searching', N identified the unmet desire of his life as his need to be his own person, to have control of his own destiny. In a bold move, N risked his secure employment in the Bank to become a partner in a credit reporting consulting firm. Going into business meant that he took a drop in pay, worked  52  very long hours, and plowed his earnings back into the firm. This was a strain on his familial life. He spent less time with S and P. Furthermore, N and S chose to take in students to maintain their lifestyle at the expense of their personal privacy. However, after a few years, the company began to profit: "you know we could see a future in the sense that the company had turned and was starting to all pull together". N cut back his work hours and they stopped taking in students. Not only did the couple have more disposable income, they had more privacy together. He had the satisfaction of being more in control of his life, of being autonomous and self-confident. He was content. Unfortunately, this comfort was short-lived. Throughout the early part of 1991 S complained of back pain. The cause of her ailment was unknown. The pain worsened and, in June, S was admitted to hospital and was heavily sedated. It came a complete shock that S was rapidly degenerating due to advanced bone cancer. N was devastated. He asked the doctors to not tell his wife that she was dying because he was fearful of experiencing her fear. As well, he wasn't sure of when or how to tell his son about his mother's imminent death. He was fearful of his son's reaction. When he did tell him, "P's reaction was like a dark cloud: he sort of panicked and blocked the reality of her death by considering it a bad dream". Only one time after entering hospital did S regain enough strength to say to N: "take charge". N regretted not being able to talk to his wife before she died, because of his "own fear of her fear". She died surrounded by those who loved her, but N had no closure with S. During this period, N experienced many emotions. However, "for all my being shocked that day, I very quickly realized my role and my responsibility even more towards P ... because I had had my life ... if I can get him through until he is twenty ... I had to go to work on that immediately because S" died. N busied himself with taking on the added responsibilities of being a single parent, a role which provides great meaning in his life. As well, with S's death, N became more aware than ever before, that it was people in his life that truly meant the most to him.  The decision to come back to Canada germinated right after S died: there was nothing stopping me from coming back to Canada. However, the reality was different. I had a partner in a company, and it was a good business, we'd put a lot  53 of effort into it. I'm not just giving up something; I have responsibilities for other people, a partner, etceteras, a home and a son to raise. He was Irish and I'm Canadian ... he'd had one trauma in his life and I'm not prepared to give him another for a few years.  It was a period of upheaval in his life, and N felt somewhat overwhelmed. To gain a respite from his situation, N and P took a short trip to visit his parents in Vancouver two months after S's death. After S's death, N's attention focused on his son: "It was really taking over S's role, it was mine, this was paramount". Although N found a brilliant childminder, he found he could not work the usual 9:00 to 5:30 work day, and then do the required socializing afterwards. N felt that he was not contributing enough to his partnership; his heart was no longer into it. He had a very amicable separation from his business partner and N started a business from home so that he could be closer to P. Another change occurred in his life when he returned to Ireland. After S died, her mother, "who had practically lived with them ... only ever set foot in their house twice again". N felt absolutely abandoned; he experienced another loss. He felt bitter towards his Irish family because his son was also abandoned. He lost trust in the capacity of his Irish family, particularly his mother-in law, to provide emotional and familial support to him and P. "Not only had we lost S, but we had lost the other base which we had, family". Having lost S and her family's support, and given up his business partnership, there was hardly any foundation left on which to build his life in Ireland. The thought of returning to Canada became more real. "I had been away twenty years, its time to go home, and I use the word home after all those years. I was living elsewhere but I always felt it". However, the return to Canada had an element of escapism: "I was running away too because ... with all this trauma going on the further way you can get the better ... it would alleviate the grief. N found the that walking around Dublin a memory would stir his feelings of grief. N and P made their second 1992 trip to Canada at Christmas to check out his prospects of returning to Vancouver; to find out about the city. Vancouver, not Montreal, was his destination of choice. First, his family lived on the West Coast and he expected that they would be a  54 tremendous support in helping him raise his son. Second, N desired a stable life; he didn't want to settle in Quebec because of the social climate regarding issues of sovereignty. N returned to Canada with his son in June of 1993. He had the sensation of returning to a different country: so much had changed and he had very little knowledge of current affairs. He felt he was in a vacuum where nobody could relate to his experience. It reminded him of going to Europe twenty years previous. He experienced a great sense of loss. Loss of his how Canada had been, and the reality of losses he had experienced as a result of the move. At one point he said to himself:  "My god, what have I done: here I've given up a business, I've given up a home, I've given up a way of life, I've given up my son's knowledge of himself in the sense that he's an Irishman, and so I made him and immigrant".  In essence, N had given up, or lost, much of what was meaningful to him for "a pipe dream". Up until arriving in Canada, N had busied himself with the details and plans that had to made to facilitate the move: wrapping up the business, selling the house and the furniture and other objects. He experienced mixed feelings about leaving Ireland: on one hand he was excited about the prospect of returning to Canada, but he experienced the sadness of leaving his life there. "Although ... I was going for all the right reasons I felt this had also been my home for ten years, all my friends and relations, I was giving it all up". On the other hand, the reality of arriving in Canada was experienced with a certain amount of panic. N had fears. "How much had Canada changed, how much had I change? Is my idea of Canada a myth"? He realized he "wasn't Canadian anymore in the true sense ... he was a man without a country". The feeling attached to that experience was that N , once again, felt in limbo. He asked himself: "Where do I belong". N described the initial feelings of the loss of his life in Ireland as walking around like a zombie for six months. To keep the panic at bay, N set out an action plan of priorities. For example, he deliberately arrived a few weeks before the school term ended so that P could chose a school that might suit him. Second, he set about looking for a car so that he could be independent to simply drive around the city and feel more grounded; something he had done when he first moved to  55 Dublin. But when his mind was not occupied with tasks of finding an appropriate school for P, the right car, or a livable neighborhood, N experienced tremendous loneliness, and isolation. "A stranger in my own land ... I had nothing to relate ... current affairs .. a complete twenty year loss ... it was like going to sleep for twenty years". When he did talk about Ireland or England, he had the sense that he was boring people. This furthered his sense of alienation because "I can't relate on either level" (England, Ireland and Canada). This contributed to sense of limbo and a growing sense of hopelessness and directionalessness. Such sentiments echo earlier periods in his life, such as when he left the federal police force. Like the period after the job with the police, N was again starting out in the Canadian job market, testing the unknown factor; could he be as effective in his work in Canada as he had been in Ireland? As well, he was uncertain whether he could find fulfilling employment in Canada. He experienced a sense of urgency, after all he was in his early forties and was starting out all over again. Furthermore, he "had no base of knowledge anymore and hence it was like a compass that doesn't work ... I had lost my ability to operate as I once knew how in Canada". Trepidation, panic, uncertainty, lacking confidence, isolation, loss, and fear: N felt under siege. However, through all of these difficult emotions, N was sustained by the feeling that he would not return to Ireland to live. For N , the return to Canada was something he felt very decided about. In other words, he intended to return to Canada for good; it was not a trial period. "It's funny, I had the sense of loss because all these fears ... but I... I've always stood very strong in myself about the decision I made". His full time task, that to which he directed his will, was to "learn to live back in Canada"; to rebuild his life. Family had always been important to N , and it was with his family that N first sought to reconnect. He received not only acceptance, but also, excellent support, from his family. Upon arriving, N was welcomed to stay at his sister's for as long as he wanted. Later, when he required to be closer to the city, N was again welcomed by his God Mother, and stayed until September when they took possession of a fully furnished house. N also sought to foster a sense of belonging in Canadian society. However, when he first returned, he felt resentment towards the changes that had taken place in his absence. For  56 example, in the 1960's, Canada was still very much influenced by Britain: there was a Union Jack in every school and people sang God Save the Queen. In 1993, there was a different cultural mix. However, after awhile, N considered the changes to be good: "Canada has done a much better job than England at managing multi-culturalism", something N equates with Canadian identity. When asked if the return to Canada answered any questions in his life, N said he felt fulfilled. However, the sense of belonging in Canada did not come over night. For approximately the first two years after his return to Canada his "heart was not in it to be here"; his heart was still in Ireland. N felt similar feelings when he moved to London, and when he moved to Ireland. At each of these periods he had experienced a sense of not being fulfilled, and of not have a secure future direction. Typically, N would spend a period of time establishing himself in an 'exciting new position', only to later recognize that his sense of fulfillment was at best temporary , and that some of his deeply felt vocational and personal needs remained unfulfilled. However, unlike in Europe, N has been able to securely anchor with in himself a sense of truly belonging in Canada. N described his return as taking approximately two years to gain a sense of acceptance of living in his native land. He found it interesting to note that he could not attribute the feeling of acceptance to others accepting him: "there is nobody out there accepting me". For N , acceptance is no longer an external construct, it is a deeper and internal sense of fulfillment: "my own self-image of people accepting me". During the interview, N realized that he had been treating himself as an immigrant to Canada, and not as a Canadian coming home. Returning to Canada has helped N develop a sense of "acceptance for place": something that has eluded him for twenty years. As well, N recognized that he had to conclude some unfinished business. He believes he has been able to complete the grief process surrounding the death of his wife and the losses associated with his life in Ireland. Since S's death, N has "bumpily reached out for a form of closure". Grieving has allowed him to "focus on coming alive again". For example, N has loved every minute of furnishing his new house: he is doing it for himself.  57 When asked if there was a turning point, N pointed towards his son. P had experienced a difficult first year in Canada, especially at school. However, P has excelled at school and has develop his own interests, particularly in computers. P's transition has lessened N's burden as a parent; he doesn't feel the fear that he had for his son when they first came over. As well, N felt dead within for a long period. N's journey has become much more spiritual in the last few years. He is taking instruction in the Catholic faith. However, N is not simply accepting Catholic teaching on the basis of church authority, he is studiously evaluating what Catholic, as well as other spiritual teachings, mean for him personally. For N , the experience of returning to Canada was his opportunity to:  conquer the status quo .... I had several things to conquer: grief, my own fears, the nation itself, the changes that had taken place verses my own changes in perception ... the reentry process was very valuable ... it enable me to put things into perspective and evaluate the changes ... otherwise there would have been no point in reentry.  N's cross-cultural journey culminated through the transition period of reentry to Canada. It "allowed for self-assessment". Through his wandering, N had searched for a sense of, and a way to lead, a fulfilled life. Along the way he transformed himself from the young man who was short on self-understanding, to the mature adult in charge of his life. For N , the key element in returning to Canada was that it was an opportunity to make a future for himself and his son: it gave him direction on a "path that was meant to be ... a path that was interrupted". N approaches the future without fear but with a sense of optimism; he feels back on track; that he is now "following the right path". He feels that he is now in charge of his own destiny. After three years of being back in Canada, it no longer matters that N has a twenty year gap, because he has built up three years of experience and can easily relate to others.  Comments. N's story begins with the trips he experiences with his family. It is on these boyhood trips that N experiences a sense of fulfillment, and his recollections give an indication of what is personally meaningful to him. N searches out experiences of adventure, discovery, and family togetherness. However, as a novice adult, N is only aware of a portion of his personal  58  values, needs, and desires. He has an overtly external, rather than internal, orientation to life. That is, he seeks an environment that readily provides opportunities to realize his desires. As a young man, he is not very self-reflective. What N searches for is not overtly self-evident. However, N is aware that adventure and discovery make him feel alive. It is not surprising that N considers a year of education on a sailing ship. After all, it offers connection to shipmates, adventure, education, and discovery. When it is not available, N chooses university. He subscribes to the prevalent and traditional 'cultural script' that if one is educated the culture will provide many opportunities to lead a fulfilling life. He earns a university degree, enters the federal police force, but does not especially enjoy civilian work. It is "boring as all sin", and he discovers that he needs to be doing something that he can "believe in". He plans a move to the fraud division but injures his tendon, and voluntarily discharges himself. The decision to leave the federal police force as a result of sustaining an injury, casts N into a period of self-reflection. He feels lost or in limbo, and he also experiences feelings of hopelessness, despair, and failure. Conversely, such feelings make N aware that he desires direction in his life, only he is not sure in what direction he wishes to go. He lacks selfconfidence. At this juncture, he takes a time-out from feeling overwhelmed and under siege; he decides to travel. In effect, this departure, from the traditional life path, announces the middle chapters of his story: the search for a way to lead a fulfilled life. His choice to travel is, in part, motivated by a desire to 'escape from' the fear of an unknown future, of feeling lost or death-like, and other from unpleasant feelings. On the other hand, when N arrives in the U K , he feels rejuvenated and excited by the novelty of living in 'adventurous' London. However, with the proposal of marriage, and the question of where to live, another juncture arises in his life. Again, N engages in a period of self-reflection. He experiences conflict because he is, in effect, deciding between two exclusive frameworks that provide meaning in his life. Reflecting on his experiences and personal circumstances, he becomes aware of his need for a sense of belonging, and for support that he receives from his family in Canada. However, in Canada, the threat of not having direction brings on feelings of anxiety and hopelessness. Conversely, in the  59 English framework, his desires for direction, adventure, relationship and employment are satisfied. Indeed, in London, N is able to realize much of what he desires in life. He has a loving relationship, meaningful employment, a child, and property. However, his decision to "try" to build a life in England, reflects his uncertainty as to whether he can develop a sense of belonging to the degree that he had experienced in Canada. In the shadow of his thoughts is the notion that he does not fit in, and when is he going to return to Canada to start his 'real' career? The desires for committed direction and belonging become more clear, as the sense of being the outsider becomes focused. They represent gaps in his life. Similarly, when he goes to Ireland, he has the feeling that things will not work out. However, it is in Ireland that the appearance of the more mature N begins to appear. After resigning himself to pursue a life path in Ireland, N finds himself four years into a job lacking any personal meaning. He is disillusioned, dissatisfied, and lacking in ambition. However, what distinguishes the mature adult from the young man is his willingness to engage in concerted 'soul searching'. Knowing that he is highly committed to a life path in Ireland, N desires to be his own person, to have control of his own destiny. He boldly takes charge of his situation: he establishes his own business. And although it was initially very difficult to establish, N begins to feel quite content. He envisions a future where it is all pulling together. He has the satisfaction of being more in control of his life. Not only has he gained much self-confidence and personal autonomy, the life he leads satisfies nearly all of his desires. However, the most telling upheaval in N's life occurs with the death of his spouse; a major hole appears in N's world. S is no longer a source of support; his sense of family togetherness is shattered; he has to deal with, or not deal with, feelings of grief. N has no closure with S, and this devastating loss initiates a period of great turmoil, grief, and self-reflection unlike any other period in his life. He questions the foundational meanings in his life: how will he carry on and what does he really desire? Furthermore, he suffers greatly when his mother-in-law abandons him and his son. With two main sources of support gone from his life, N looses heart to carry on  .60 with his business. Feeling overwhelmed and abandoned, N becomes even more aware of his role and responsibility towards his son. As well, it is then that he recognizes his desire for family togetherness will never be fully realized while he lives in Europe. With the appearance of these gaps in his life, it was not surprising that N listens to his desire to return to Canada. The decision to move to Canada, another significant juncture, is, in part, a move to search for another environment in which to satisfy his needs for family connection, support, belonging, and meaningful direction. However, the cross-cultural reentry to Canada also has a ring of escape. He escapes his feelings of grief that the environs of Dublin stir in him. As well, planning for the return to Canada keeps his focus from his grief. In effect, the move to Canada is a break from the grieving process. N's decision to return to Canada is made with resolve, however, he experiences a period of wavering, when his heart is not here but in Ireland. In Canada, during moments when he is not busy, the reality of the his grief for the loss of S and his life in Ireland, as well as, the fear he feels for son, himself, and their unknown future path, instill in N a sense of panic, isolation and loneliness. However, N , in a sustained period of self-reflection, recognizes that he has to "search for closure" to the grief process to be able to become alive again. As well, N becomes aware that he has to come to terms with the realization that the Canada he knew no longer exists. Although, N's national identity as a Canadian endures, it is an identity of the early 1970's. Much to his surprise, he no longer has a current national identity; Canada has changed and he is truly a "man without a country". He experiences a gap in his Canadian cultural and social identity. Not only does he grieve the loss of the Canada he knew, the period of transition is a very chaotic time. However, during this transition, N is more aware, than ever before, of what he desires in his life. To keep the panic at bay, N busies himself with re-appropriating and reinforcing the various sources of meaning that imbue his life with optimism and fulfillment. Collectively, these are, among others, his family, his role as a parent, meaningful work, his relationship, a secure future direction, and even his cultural and national identity. These sources, although enduring, are subject to change and are not without end. More recently, N has begun instruction in the  61  Catholic faith. The spiritual quest can be a truly enduring source of meaning. As well, it can bring sense of personal calm during times of chaos that one experiences in life, and in life's transition to death. N's story of cross-cultural entry and reentry, concludes with his evolving sense of belonging in Canada. For over two years N has thought of himself as an immigrant; it is only now that he has begun to internalize his own self-image of others accepting him as Canadian. The growing sense of belonging in Canada has been very validating for N. He has begun to foster a sense of place and a return to a life path that was meant to be. Through the process of returning to Canada, N has experienced the death of restlessness. In many ways, N's story is characterized by a search to for a life path that can accommodate his various desires. In fact, for as far back as N can remember he has been searching. A search can either go right or go wrong. At best, the search can be a romantic quest in which the protagonist is aware of the of the true meaning of what he or she is searching for, and can actualize the desired life. At worst, the search is characterized by aimless floundering, where the protagonist remains unaware of what he or she desires, and therefor, has no firm sense of how to lead a fulfilled life. Somewhere between these two extremes is productive floundering. What is a 'floundering search'? Floundering is a term that best describes a search for personal fit in an environment, that is "characterized by a haphazard movement of trial and error problem-solving behavior, rather than an orderly, logical method of self-discovery, environmental exploration, and sequential decision making" (Salomone & Mangicaro, 1991, p. 328). This approach is usually conducted by those who have been unable to "reconcile personal characteristics with environmental demands" (p. 328), and who are: a) in a crisis state brought on by transition, b) are under a great deal of stress, and c) have avoided soul searching efforts to clearly define personal values, needs, abilities and interests. Sometimes the search can be rather difficult, and the individual can be temporarily overwhelmed by a personal or vocational impasse. When this occurs, the individual may take a time-out from their search. According to Erikson (1968), this 'moratorium' can be seen as period  62 of delay that an individual chooses, or is granted, when they are not prepared to meet an obligation or make a decision. Such a withdrawal, from a problematic situation, can be a healthful choice if it is psychologically recuperative. This is especially true for the individual who is searching, but is not certain for what. The structure of N's story is that of a floundering search for a life path to accommodate that which is personally meaningful. It is structured by juncture points or periods of upheaval, that are followed by periods of self-reflection. The junctures, or periods of transition, are like life markers where N , in the light of his personal circumstances, reflects upon, and becomes more aware of his personal values, needs, abilities and interests. During periods of transition, the following pattern of decision making emerges. First, N begins to feel under siege, lost, and in limbo. He is unsure of his next step. With a mounting feeling of urgency, unease, fear, and, from time to time, financial pressure, N is called upon to make decisions he is not prepared to make. As a young man, N engages in only limited 'soul searching'. Rather than make a decision, he takes a time-out, either through travel or through engaging in a period of trail and error problem-solving. These time-outs serve as a temporary means to resolve immediate personal and vocational problems, and provide N with a sense of rejuvenation. As well, some of N's decisions involve a threat to his sense of autonomy. Because he sometimes concedes to the wishes of others in his attempt to satisfy his needs, he partially experiences a sense of self-denial. This experience imbibes the decisions he makes with a quality of ambivalence and uncertainty; they are not wholeheartedly made. The outcome of this decision making process is that N makes haphazard progress in self-understanding and in his search to fulfill his deep personal and vocational needs. Through this trial and error problem solving process, N further explores, and develops, his personal interests, values, abilities and desires. The plot of N's cross-cultural story is a meandering movement of trial and error experience, self-reflection, and maturation. Along the way, N learns how he can effectively satisfy some, but not all of his personal desires, at different junctures in his life. These junctures include, among  63 others, physical injuries, cross-cultural transitions to England and Ireland, marriage, and parenthood. However, after two immense upheavals, the death of his spouse, and the return to Canada, N emerges as a more mature adult; one who has become more self-aware and decided upon a life path that meets his vocational, psychological, and even spiritual needs. What becomes salient, in these times of transition, is his ever deepening understanding of what is personally meaningful. Along the way he discovers that not only are adventure, discovery and family togetherness meaningful to him, but that, self-awareness, autonomy, courage, direction, parenthood, national and cultural identity, as well as, a sense of developed spirituality are also important. What is personally meaningful provides him with a framework that guides his decisions and actions, to solve the challenge of living life with a sense of fulfillment. As well, through out his story, N's orientation to life has become more encompassing. That is, besides having an external orientation to life, N has cultivated a more internal, self-reflective, orientation. The challenge for N is to further bring these sources meaning within, so that he no longer experiences a gap in his life when he is threatened by loss or change in his environment. The meaning of reentry for N is that it has provided him another opportunity to do so.  64 H X ' s Story  Table #2 HX: DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE  Name: H X .  Date of Birth: 1959.  Ethnic Background English-Canadian. Education: Arts Degree.  Years of Education 16.  Relationship status: Married.  No. and ages of Children 0.  Length of Time Overseas: 18 years. Age at Return to Canada: 34 years Place of Overseas Assignment: France, 3 years; England, 15 years. City : Paris, London. Occupation / Nature of Overseas Work Assignment: Student, Film Animator, Film Producer. Length of time since return to Canada: 3.5 years. Nature of preparation, if any, for entry to host culture: No formal preparation. Nature of preparation, if any, for reentry to home culture: No formal preparation.  In 1975, at the age of 16, H X left Canada to attend a small art college in Paris, France. After his first year abroad, he briefly returned to Canada and construed the society as "provincial". After three years of study, H X received his certificate in art design, however, he was forced to leave France because of newly introduced, work permit policies. He arrived in England and immediately secured work. H X resided in London until 1992. There, he became well connected in the various creative communities. He established, and then lost, a film production business, and witnessed the dismantlement of the British film industry. As well, he married. In 1992, after an apocalyptic half year, H X and his spouse moved to Vancouver,  65 . Canada. In the three years since he has been back in Vancouver, H X has furthered his career in the film industry, but has given up the notion that he is a returning Canadian. He is treated as a foreigner, and believes he has more in common with Europeans.  Drawing, and other artistic endeavors, have always been a source of great personal meaning for H X . It was through his artistic endeavors that H X received encouragement and recognition in his family. Compared to other kids in his age group, H X had advanced drawing skills. Such early recognition instilled in H X a sense of being unique, apart from the norm. "It was my identity from the earliest age I can think of... it was part of me ... it was what I had been living and breathing since I was a kid". Besides his drawing ability, there were other aspects of H X that set him apart from others. "I guess I've always been an outsider for so many years as a child having a private education and not being quite part of... the 'mainstream'". He was never "the kid that people bully at school or anything. I was never rejected ... I mean you participate, but people give you a certain lee way because people always give the 'guest' a certain degree of lee way. Which is nice". As a guest he experienced a "comfortable detachment from others". This form of relationship, helped H X develop his listening and observing skills, as well as, an early sense of self-reliance, autonomy, and a sense of specialness. In his youth, HX's drawing talent was so developed that he was able to work professionally. By the time he was 16, the determined H X had already worked three years (after school and during summers) in the field of cartoon animation. He had been able to earn a considerable amount of money, and was financially independent by 16 year old standards. The significance of HX's early experience is three fold. First, he had "certain knowledge" that he could achieve whatever he wanted to. Through his youth, H X had developed supreme confidence in his ability to endure and prevail when life presented him with challenges, or obstacles. Second, he knew his life direction. By the time he was 16, he "had a career goal and knew exactly what it was". He was determined to become involved in the film industry in some  66 creative capacity. Third, H X had developed a detachment from others, and in part, from his social and cultural environment, that allowed him to observe and assess the perils he might face. From this vantage point he could also assess whether the environment in which he found himself, could meet his personal needs. With this "armor" of attributes: confidence, fortitude and courage; highly developed observational skills; and direction; H X began his cross-cultural story by setting forth to build his life as an artist in the field of film animation. The first challenges that H X encountered were his own unpolished abilities as an artist. He could not just walk into the film industry; he needed to overcome obstacles, he needed to acquire certain skills, he needed to hone his artistic abilities. If he was to realize his goal, it was necessary to get a 'proper education' at an art school. He was going to art school, which art school was another question. From his detached observation, he assessed whether he could receive a proper education at the local facility. "It was hopeless". There was no instruction, no formal training, no discipline, and no approach. He thought of applying to other art schools within Canada, but as it happened, there was a protracted mail strike in the country, which complicated the application process. The significance of the mail strike for H X , was that it set him on a path to find a environment, suitable to his needs as student, outside of Canada. Having achieved a degree of financial independence and autonomy, H X was able to seriously entertain the thought of a foreign education. Undeterred by the mail strike, H X drove to America to post applications to selected art schools in Europe and the United States. He was accepted by a small art college in Paris, France. HX's determination to achieve his goal is reflected by his serious and methodical selfpreparation to insure he could attain as much artistic education as possible while in France. After all, formal training was a necessary and concrete step to realize his personal ambitions; he was looking forward to a serious adventure. For example, H X hired a private French tutor in Canada, joined the French Club, and arranged to arrive four months ahead of the commencement of classes to polish, not only his language skills, but also his knowledge of appropriate socialcultural skills.  67 At aged 16, H X , the youngest of three brothers, was the first to leave home. He lived and study in Paris from 1975 to 1978. His personal qualities allowed the youth to successfully deal with the challenges of being a foreign student. In fact, he so successfully developed his French social skills, that he "fit in" in France. "I was completely integrated at that point; people couldn't tell I was not French". In Paris, he began to reap benefits: education, life experience, adventure, creative expression and opportunity, and freedom; he was becoming an artist. H X very much enjoyed the cosmopolitan nature of Paris, and he desired to further build his life there. It was an ideal environment for a serious student of film and art. For example, in his final year in school, H X received an apprenticeship posting to a major film studio. Although it was very much outside the scope of his studies, H X was confident that he could learn new skills. The apprenticeship presented H X with a unique opportunity; in five intensive months, H X had exposure to every single department in the creation of a film. The personal significance of this experience was that H X had become even more decide about his life's direction: live film and art direction, rather than film animation, was the path he wanted to pursue. It was near the end of his training in France that H X faced the another major barrier in his path to realize his goal of becoming a director of live film. Events converged to make the possibility of remaining in France very slim. It was a very busy time because not only was he working long hours in the film studio, he was cramming for the state examination for his certificate of art design. The exam was the last, but largest, obstacle in his pursuit of the formal recognition of his abilities. "If one fails the exams you don't get a second chance". Coincidentally, during the period when H X was cramming for his exams, the French government scrapped the work visa entitlement to foreign students who earned their qualifications in France. Cramming and working left H X without the time necessary to find some way of circumventing the new law. Rather than fight a doomed battle, H X accepted as a 'fait accomplis' that he would have to leave France the day he received his credentials. Three years previously, H X had to leave Canada to receive a proper education. This time, H X was displaced. It was a turning point in his life. In essence, he was forced to leave the ideal  68 creative environment; forced to dismantle his life in France; forced to search for the next best available environment to rebuild his life and achieve his goal. The new policy became a major obstacle in his path to realize his ambitions. H X was faced with choices, whether to: a) remain a student, and thus be legally entitled to live in France; b) stay illegally in France; c) return to Canada; or d) go someplace else. H X considered solutions to this problem. He had been a student long enough and H X desired to be out working. He wished to regain his financial independence, and the freedom that that could bring. As well, he desired to be working on his own projects. On the other hand, living as an illegal alien in France was not too appealing. Returning to his native land was out of the question. In 1976, after one school year in France, he briefly returned to Canada. He construed Vancouver as "a poky little place that wasn't going anywhere and my horizons had been broadened". His friends weren't doing anything interesting either. He had a brief stop over in Toronto and "hated it", didn't want to live in Montreal", and "wasn't prepared to live in any kind of little community". Compared with Paris, France, Canada was "provincial". Having been exposed to a different life in Paris, Canadians seemed to have a very narrow viewpoint, were "dominated by pathetic discussions about national identity", and had had a "very embarrassing summer Olympic". He felt "scornful" towards Canada and Canadians. Canada, as well, had nothing to attract his interest. At that time, Canada was not a center for the film industry. Furthermore, his parents were living in separate houses, and tragically, one of his brothers was killed. H X recalls that his family seemed fragmented: when he visited Canada there was no family unit to return to. The trip was a very significant turning point in his life. H X became certain that he could not build his life as an artist in Canada; it just did not offer anything that could further his goals. He had to look elsewhere for a favorable artistic environment. As for other places to go, England seemed the most natural. In England, H X had the legal right of abode. Second, at that time, they were making big budget films: there was plenty of work. London offered H X the chance to earn some money, regain his independence and decide  69 what he was going to do next. And most importantly, London was the equivalent to Paris: the heart of the English artistic community. When H X first went to London he recognized the artistic opportunity immediately. It was unlike anywhere in North America. "It was a vibrant, vibrant place, it was concentrated because everything overlapped". Not only was it the center of film, it was the center for publishing, television, theater, music and advertisement. In North America, these creative industries were, and continue to be, spread throughout the continent. London, in the late seventies, was where worlds collided; it had a tremendous synergistic energy available to creative talents. It was an environment that offered nearly unlimited creative opportunity for those who could get established. Satisfied that London, next to Paris, was the best environment to further his goal, H X immediately set out to prevail. It just so happened that H X started work the day after arriving in London: the companies were desperate for people with his skills. H X received his first taste of reward, his artistic education was professionally recognized. Unfortunately for H X , he immediately encountered another major problem that required an answer. The film industry in England, at that time, was heavily unionized, and "there was no possible way into the trade union as somebody entering at the bottom of the ladder". Although, H X desired to break into live film, he for practical reasons, returned to the animation field because it was not so heavily unionized and he was able to work. After awhile, H X realized that he could get his trade union membership if he worked in the animation segment of the film industry. During the period of trying to secure the union membership, H X deliberately increased his talents in the field of animation: doing one kind of animation at one studio and another kind of animation at a different studio. His portfolio of skills grew; his knowledge of business increased; he received recognition within the community. He eventually prevailed. In 1981, H X received his trade union card which was "absolutely essential" for securing the direction he wanted to go. H X began to thrive within the London artistic community. He purchased an apartment and made "many, many, strong friendships". Furthermore, because London was the cross roads for  70 the creative community in England, HX's friends had connections with the wide range of artistic communities. There were plenty of unique opportunities for someone with his talents. Not only could he find work on films, but he also contributed to stage productions, music videos, and other endeavors. It was "very easy to jump in and out of various things and not have to drop what I was doing to go and work in some other area". In the mid eighties, H X found himself not only doing animation work, but also some production work. The next logical step for H X was to open his own company, to freelance for different production companies. The company was not a dream; it was what he had to do to earn a living in the film industry at that time. However, in the back of his mind, H X thought that if he had his own company he could satisfy one of his ambitions: to become a director of live film. In other words, he could produce projects of his "own and dabble in live action". It is a testament to HX's courage, drive, and confidence, that within five years of incorporating, his company was producing live films. It was a fearless step; H X prizes courage and has actively sought to overcome self-limiting fears. Facing what he considered the worse case scenario of a course of action was, in fact, somewhat liberating for HX. It allowed him the freedom to open his own business.  Anybody who is afraid of anything will realize it is true, they are afraid of dying in the gutter. In other words you lose all your money, lose your friends, lose your health, and your sanity, and you've got nothing and no one to help you ... there is no back door to your fear ... and I was always so far away from ever winding up there. I thought: "well there is nothing to be afraid of then".  In pursuit of his desire to become a director of live film and the other courses of action in life, H X reckoned that there would always be pit falls and risks. But to not take them for him, would be cheating himself of life; it would be not living. His courage, self-confidence, fortitude, and keen observational skills, allowed H X to take full advantage of the opportunities in the artistic community to build his life, to bring his goal to fruition. However, in 1987-88 HX's life changed, as did nearly all of the lives of those who worked in the British entertainment industry. The stock market crash was not just another obstacle to circumvent for H X , it heralded the beginning of the de-stabilization, and eventual  71  dismantlement, of much of the entire entertainment industry. It was a catastrophe of epic proportions in which H X was swept up. The life that he had built up began to crumble. H X lost secure clients who could no longer finance projects. People went under owing him money, and he couldn't keep up his commitments to his employees: he gradually lost his business. As well, he lost his apartment: his mortgage became greater than the value of the property by several thousand. H X lost all of his tangible assets.  It was horrible to live through ... >we wanted to believe that it was going to turn around ... we all helped to deceive each other and we were all wrong ... Yes, it made me more cautious about global economy. And I realized that if you are out there running a business or being an entrepreneur in any way, you are extremely vulnerable.  There was another complicating factor in the protracted demise of HX's production company: the accountants, who had been representing him, had committed major fraud. From 1989 to 1991, H X battled in the courts suing his accountants, but eventually had to give up because he could not raise the money necessary to even table the case: it would have cost more money to contest the issue than what he was asking for in reparation. This was a difficult learning experience and another significant turning point in his life. Up until this point, HX's armor had protected him; he felt able to meet the obstacles in his way, and prevail. H X had fought, and endured, a legal battle to salvage some of his assets, but he did not prevail. However, he learned he had to strategically chose his battles; that is, he was good as an artist, employer, film maker, and good with people, but vulnerable as a business person. He had been blind-sided. He needed better "sniper skills" and "radar" to stick his head "above the parapet to see what the enemy were doing". As a business person he "had been too trusting". Even the strongest armor cannot protect one from injustice, from betrayal. This trial left H X feeling somewhat jaded. This concept of justice was an eye opener for him. He attributes this lack of defense to his then, naive belief in social justice, which he swallowed while growing up in Canada.  As a Canadian you are brought up to think that if you are good, you do a good job, and you are honest and you work hard, you will be rewarded. And I think it took  72 me until that year to realize that wasn't true ... and I think that's what maybe what my armor was, you asked what that confidence or courage was, I think a lot of it was just the simplistic notion that justice will prevail... and its not true. Canadians are very good, they behave themselves, they tell the truth, they don't cheat people, and they get screwed ... moral values are not rewarded ... in the rich speaking world of business. M y values didn't change one iota, my perception of what those values can help you do in life, changed ... Growing up in Canada, I was told many, many, many times by my family and school teachers and the society I grew up in, that, you know, you do unto others, good deeds and be good ... everything will be nice and that's all the philosophy you need in life. That's terribly tragic.  At the same time, the dismantlement of the British film industry was accelerating. "The whole film industry was crashing on such a scale I would have to get out... The M G M studios, built in the thirties, were being torn down and not replaced: once you tear down the infrastructure the ... business will not come back". Furthermore, the B B C laid off 10,000 people in London alone. The freelance salary tumbled by fifty percent; HX's earnings were halved, and he was forced to accept jobs that he would not even had looked at previously. His whole film career was "in tatters", as was nearly all those of his friends in the same industry. Many gradually dropped away: going into other fields or moving abroad. There was no a hope in furthering his career in London. "I hit a plateau, a plateau at a point in my age and my experience that I should have been going up and up and up and up ... and I was lucky, because most people I knew in my position, went down". As well, H X likens the dismantlement of the British film industry to the whole social structure in the U K , "a society in collapse". The one bright spot during this time was that H X met his future bride. He met someone with whom he could share the load, help him build his life, and realize his goal. She wrote professionally for various magazines in London. However, the magazine business was not sheltered from the general destruction of the British entertainment industry. She wasn't earning the money she should have been, and "she could see that in London it wasn't going to happen either, and she was just going to carry on in a low paid job without the recognition". The demise of the artistic environment in London was the biggest challenge that H X had yet to solve. How could he pursue goals in a place that could no longer provide opportunities to do so? H X endured the deteriorating situation in London for three years, but found no solution to his problem. His battle to realize his dreams had become a contest of attrition; would his  73 personal resources last until a break in the fighting? H X and his partner decided to regroup, to find shelter from the destruction they had experienced. They took a time-out. During the summer of 1991, they traveled to North America to check out the prospects of furthering their careers. In three weeks they crammed in everything, traveling to New York, California, Canada, and back to England. Upon their return, they were "just full of enthusiasm and energy just from being here [North America]... its cleaner, faster, better, happier". In North America they "felt normal; we felt healthy ... at least you get out of bed in the morning and you get things done and you are happy and ... optimistic thoughts". However, they were not convinced that a move to North America was worth dismantling their lives in Britain, or that it provided better opportunities to further their goals. But within a few months after their return to the U K , they were right back to where they started from: "down to nothing again". They were ill constantly, and almost never entertained optimistic thoughts. The period of wavering ceased. It was then that H X and his partner decided to move to Canada. Vancouver was the destination of choice because it was the place that offered the greatest opportunity for them to realize their mutual goals. First, H X had automatic right of abode. Second, Vancouver was, and still is, bustling in the film industry as compared to London. Third, there was the potential for HX's spouse to further her writing career on the west coast; they could be together. They made their decision in July of 1992, but had to clear up business in the U K before they could come over. In other words, they had to dismantle their own lives in England in order to rebuild in Canada. This transition was unlike his move from Canada to France, or his displacement from France to England. The convergence of societal and personal pressures that HX's experienced, particularly the in the last few months before coming to Canada, was immense. When asked to compare his transition to England from France, to the transition from England back to Canada, H X described it this way:  There was no comparison, my life was simpler ... it wasn't layered under different personal and professional levels, emotional things. I left France to get a job ... my whole life fit into one trunk, right. And I was free and single and the move was  74 easy ... From England to Canada, it was like the world was crumbling about me ... I felt the whole country was crumbling about me anyway. It was a different era ... darkly. I think we will look back on that period: 87 to 1991 as a time of great turmoil in the world, you know economically, socially, politically. Everything got tossed up in the air and got dropped, almost like a world war. I mean look at the world and try to imagine going back to 1986 where there was a Soviet Union and the Eastern Block and the Warsaw Pact, you know ... South Africa, Nelson Mandela in prison, and China not being this giant factory for the world. Doesn't that seem like a very long time ago to you? It really has changed on every level.  Furthermore, he had a lot of personal responsibilities. He was looking after his 97 year old God Mother, and had to deliver the news to her that her son was dying of cancer. As well, he spent a good deal of his time looking after the children of his close friend and helping a cousin through a nervous breakdown. He then had to get through the emotions brought on by her suicide. Also, his business associate had suffered a stroke, was paralyzed and had lost his ability to speak. Meanwhile, he had to file for bankruptcy to be clear of the business. And to top it all off, H X married.  I can't believe it when I look back, I thought it was a terrible awful year, but it was apocalyptic. It was like the collapse of a country and a way of life and everything, everybody I knew, the whole thing, fell apart. People died. I mean, most of the people I was dealing with at that time are now dead. Its incredible. It was an apocalyptic time. It was all images of destruction, you know? It was people's lives falling apart, killing themselves, people losing their businesses, their houses, their wives. I can hardly express how disastrous it was.  Looking back at his decision to leave England and return to Canada, H X described it like this:  It was almost like I made this decision to come here [Vancouver]... and this house of cards that I was living collapsed ... over that period. If I were a superstitious animist, I would probably say: 'Oh well, I made the decision because ... and then I caused all these things to happen, because the world I had created had collapsed in order for me to get out from under'.  However, through the turmoil, H X was considered the center of calm for many others; the medic performing triage on the front line. Although others perceive him as rather stoic, it was almost more than he could stand, but stand he did. When asked what this period in his life meant  75 for him personally, H X commented that the legacy is this: "you come out from a different way of life". H X , could no longer endure the battle to realize his goals in Britain. However, all things considered, H X did prevail. He prevailed in the sense that he maintained his life goal of becoming an established artist in the world of live film; he just needed a more favorable environment. "Its one of life's catastrophes, I, I am the one that came through all right, [there were] people around me who didn't". The apocalyptic half year in London, might leave anyone other than H X feeling unfairly dumped upon. However, with all the flotsam of a way of life drifting about, H X does not consider that he suffered any losses. "I don't feel like I lost anything". After all, it was "not like losing a limb or the ability to speak". Had he gained anything? Philosophically he replied: "oh yeah, just experience, a few years, as long as you are just out there and doing things and live each year, each year is a credit to your account in life". Having lived through this chaotic half year, H X had attained a degree of wisdom, of self-knowledge, that one can only attain through surviving such an apocalyptic experience. H X remembers his return to Vancouver as being very tranquil, relative to London. "It was very calm. Vancouver was buried under a couple feet of snow, everything was frozen up, nobody was going anywhere, Christmas cake, television ... I kind vegged out for a few weeks". As well, his spouse was not able to immediately join him in Vancouver because of Canadian immigration policies. However, the tranquillity was short lived. Upon return to Canada, H X resumed his struggle to build his life and realize his goals. After the initial two weeks of'vegging' out, his first priority was to become established within the North American film industry. What was a major obstacle that had taken five years to solve in England, took only one month in Canada: he got his trade union membership. "Having belonged to an affiliated union I was entitled to be in the union here, which is almost impossible to get. I was very, very happy that my trade union membership from Britain, which no longer meant anything, because the trade unions no longer have any legal power in Britain at all any more ... But I still kept on the membership, and I was  76 able to translate those immediately into an open door here which meant that I was able to legally work in the film industry". As well, he got himself an agent, but he had to endure some road blocks. His agent, the best in Western Canada, had a heart attack. Undeterred, he got another agent who proved to be useless. At the same time he found that he couldn't get work without an agent, and because he "hadn't the applicable action film experience as a director, because they were not producing the kind of work here [North America] that I was doing in Britain ... they didn't recognize the work I had done". For practical reasons, H X took on animation work, and much to his amazement, had discovered that he "had a reputation ... all of a sudden people knew who I was". He had a status in the animation field in Canada, and in every country, "except Britain where nobody recognizes your skill, and nobody give you the time of day for your credit on a film". H X has observed that the North American film industry, as a whole, is not limited by geographical borders if you are fairly mobile and have achieved a high enough position. However, it is limited by the specific skills one has. It is an industry of pigeon holes. Unlike when he was first in London, where he could sell himself as having specific skills in different areas which might not necessarily be fully developed, in Vancouver he has been type cast as an animator. Type casting has put an external limit on his creative freedom. This is an obstacle that he is endeavoring to surmount. In North America, unless one can change the type casting and be recognized for one's complete talents, one will always be in one pigeon hole or another. Furthermore, your reputation and recognition are as good as your last project: one needs to produce quality work. However, H X feels optimistic that if he endures the challenge to become established, he can achieve his goals. However, outside, and inside his professional world, H X has encountered problems that must simply be endured. For example, the lack of creative cross pollination in the North American film industry is an occurrence that H X laments.  In North America, the connections are by executives over the phone lines ... faxes, board rooms. They are not individuals who's disciplines are closely related and interrelated with other disciplines. In London, life was full of coincidence, and  77 coincidences are more likely to happen where various world collide. But here, worlds don't collide, because they are spread all over. Decisions about work in Vancouver are made in Toronto, New York, Los Angeles. There is no community here, not in the world of entertainment which is the only world I am ever talking about.  H X feels sad that this type of community no longer exists anywhere in the English speaking world because such separateness of domains limits creative output and opportunities. As well, it is much more difficult to gain recognition for one's work. Recognition, in the film industry, is necessary to achieve a position of status that can liberate the artists from mundane creative limits, such as finances, business personalities, administrative bureaucracy, and foreign work permit applications. As well, H X has had to come to terms with personal challenges, such as his own expectations of returning to Canada. Namely, that he "was Canadian, that he was living in Vancouver, and that Vancouver was the place he lived in". In other words, "Vancouver 92 - 93 was basically the Vancouver of 1975 ... that was not so. It was a different city, with a different population and its in a different point in time, right. Twenty years changes a place and the passage of time and the generations and the birth of new people creates new people and everything: its a different place". He came back with the expectation that he was going to  fit straight back into the culture right away. I was from here, with all these extra skills that I had acquired abroad and I thought I'd be able to come back, march right in: 'Hello I'm back, here are the things I can do, I'm not only from here, I have a right to be here. But I have all these wonderful skills and experiences which are valuable to you and you will want me and give me lots of money. And I'm glad to be here'... and I immediately found ... people couldn't care less because of my accent or my manners and speak have changed. He was perceived everywhere as foreign ... even today people ask me questions about what it was like being born there and I... I am constantly reminding people that initially I was from here ... I am so unconvincing as a Canadian that even though people rationally believe me when I tell them I am, they don't believe it really. Because they go on evidence, because they don't think I behave in any way like one of them.  78  Its a bore to keep telling people he is originally from Canada. "I've had to accept that I will always be seen here as a foreigner ... I have worked hard to pronounce my words as a Canadian but its a lot of other things besides my accent". Although H X "can understand people's confusion", it has been difficult to experience daily. Because he resided for a lengthy period in international cities, "where everybody is from everywhere" and it did not matter about a person's accent, that, "in this somewhat instant culture ... foreigners stick out like sore thumbs, and I get pointed at: make fun of my accent... it [is] equivalent to racism". As well, H X feels somewhat ambivalent about cultivating a sense of kinship with, and respect towards, Canadians and Canadian society. First, H X has noticed that:  every body pats themselves on the back here ... and people are terribly smug here: they think we've^got it all. They think we're .. we're clean ... we've cleansed ourselves of racism and cultural prejudice ... and it is nonsense. We haven't... its a facade that people use to fool themselves, not to fool others .. people think they are actually being nice, they are not.  Second, from time to time, H X is aware of the naive business dealing of those he works for. It is difficult to identify with those who could be so easily victimized by shady business dealings. He pities employers that have not developed better business radar and snipping skills. H X will alert an associate to be careful of dealings which his own radar detects, but for the most part, he is detached from the business side of the industry. He prefers to be an observer. Third, H X has noticed a hypocrisy in the culture: everybody is so "politically correct" now about sexism, racism and ageism, but in many ways he sees the change as cosmetic. They have "shifted all those stupid childhood petty prejudices and bigotry onto other groups which no body can see ... it is "outrageously prejudice and insulting". As a 'foreigner', he is attuned to 'isms'; he experiences them everyday. Fourth, H X considers that he is culturally starved. For example, he sees the preoccupation with Canadian cultural identity as "laughable ... as if a country of people think they have to work at an identity ... it's the greatest absurdity: I say forget being Canadian and get on with your life. Have fun and do good works and you don't have to be Canadian".  79 In part, HX's scornful attitude towards Canadians can be linked to his perception that Canadians live sheltered, boring lives for the most part. According to H X , the majority Canadians have no courage to seize life experience. H X has deliberately sought experience, so it is difficult for him to identify with people from his country of birth. In part, H X believes that Canadians deceive themselves when they believe their armor, social justice, will protect them. It is also difficult for H X to respect those who could so easily be victims of social injustice. For H X , the thought that "many, many, Canadians who have managed to live their whole lives because they haven't taken any risks, they haven't put their foot outside their own doorsteps", made him want to "puke". "They haven't any life experience at all: its like living like a cat: I mean why not just go out and get a lobotomy, and then it would be even easier to live". His version of hell might be like this: "a little, safe, cozy existence where you've produced some brain dead children"; he would blow it all to smithereens. For him, this type of lifestyle is the "ultimate in selfishness in the world". The fifth Canadian social phenomenon that makes H X feel somewhat ambivalent about Canadian culture is self-deception. H X has noticed the "lies that Canadian tell themselves". As an example, he mentioned a news paper article that stated that 'North of Sixty', a Canadian produced television show, was the most popular Canadian drama series of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. "I think it may be the only Canadian drama series ... its tipping the scales in order to make a statement that sounds positive about Canada. Its self-deception". H X believes that it is endemic in the Canadian society.  Things work so well here, things are just so clean and easy that it is easy to keep the deception going. You don't have to have friends if you've got nice outdoor activities, and if your body is in shape and you can feel good about yourself here, even though you don't have a single soul in the world that you can really tell your problems too ... you can live on the surface and have a 'nice' life.  There are other drawbacks in his life in Canada. For example, H X considers that he "has no friends, a few fair weather friends. You can't drop one whole set of friends in one country and then go on and get whole bunch of new ones". When asked if this was a major disappointment, H X replied that it wasn't, but does admit it is a deficit in his life. H X feels unsatisfied with the  80  level of contact. "You know there's not much, not much in friendship here". Unlike in Europe, H X sees "that same sex friendships, which are vital, are not valued here ... I have no interest in team sports and they are very much a part of the male world out here". In Europe, he and his friends "just don't talk about team sports, its ridiculous". H X finds that in North America there is a terrible air of homophobia, and he has come back here to find:  that every man of any age is still emotionally very much where I was at sixteen. In North America, we don't show any kind of interest for each other's home life, emotional life, or feelings ... we just end up talking about sports or playing pool with each other ... I don't have time for that... and that's maybe why I have made so few friends here. Its just a different culture.  Instead he keeps in touch with friends in Europe who support and contribute to his artistic endeavors. H X unexpectedly discovered that he shared more in common with French males than Canadian males. While recently working with two dozen, similar aged, French men, H X surprisingly discovered that his manners, style of dress, personal style of interaction, and other sensibilities, were nearly identical to this "peer group". H X had always assumed that he was a bit of an outsider in both Canada and England because his manners, tastes, and personal presentation (clothes, speech, etc.) continue to be distinctive. However, reflecting back on this experience, he realized that France had given him a "way of life", of which H X was not aware. In fact, it was not until twenty years after he had left, that H X realized the extent that he had been influenced by French culture. Collectively, the professional and personal challenges, and the Canadian cultural makeup, pose problems for which H X feels he simply must endure. In the three years of living back in Canada, H X has had the opportunity to view Canada with an 'objective eye'; a detached view.  Canada has changed a lot more than people here realize. And I have had to throw out the notion that I'm a returning Canadian and start from scratch; I am foreign. I am totally foreign as an adult in my life, having been on the continent, and I come back here. And my passport says I am Canadian and I was bom here, you know, went to school here, but that is the smaller part of my life.  81  He has found that his personal values are more in common with Europeans than Canadians. So how does H X describe himself? He resists the use of the label 'Canadian'. He prefers to say that he is a Canadian who has lived half his life in Europe, and fittingly, as "an individual who has his own identity which maybe needs more than a word to describe". When asked what the future will hold, H X wasn't sure. He is hopeful that he will be able to continue as he has done for the last year and a half: getting forward in his career and getting into the areas of film that he really enjoys. As well, he hopes to do interesting work and wishes to be further established, to receive enough recognition to be free to work on a variety of projects in different places; he feels restricted in Vancouver. H X also admits to feeling a bit isolated in Vancouver. For him it has taken a few years to put in roots, in order to build up enough contacts that your "seen as part of the place"; to be recognized. H X has been able to endure his 'foreignness', Canadian society, and even the lack of true friendship, because Vancouver is the current environment that offers the best opportunity for him to build his life and realize his ambitions.  Comments. For as long as H X can remember, drawing had been a part of his life. Drawing, animation, film production, and other creative works, are for H X , the expression and affirmation of who he is. As such, HX's values include creative freedom and self-expression. His struggle is clearly defined at an early age: he strives first to become an animator, and then, with more certainty, to become involved in live film. Knowing his goal, he focuses his energy to achieve it. Along the way he encounters obstacles. Anything, whether it be of a personal, cultural, financial, or social nature, that impedes, limits, or suppresses the achievement of this objective, is viewed by H X , as a denial of who he desires to become. Such obstacles are serious: they need to be circumvented, surmounted, made trivial, or conquered; they are problems that require solutions. As a youth, he is fortified for life's struggles. He relies on his "armor" to protect him. His armor is initially forged with a sense of social justice and, in part, arrogance. His arsenal is a  82  combination of artistic skill, self-reliance, autonomy, self-confidence, and courage. Relying upon his keen observational skills, he searches for opportunity to further his goal. Not able to find a suitable environment within Canada, H X is forced to look elsewhere. Thus begins the cross-cultural adventure of the youth to find an environment, suitable enough, to satisfy his needs as an artist. He yearns for serious adventure and experience. His desire is to further his abilities as an artist to become established artist in the area of live film. In Paris, H X finds the ideal environment. He endures the struggles of a student and becomes so successful at learning French social-cultural skills that he completely fits in. He prevails. Although he has no option but to concede the battle to remain in France, he resumes the struggle to realize his goal from a more favorable position, London. Again he prevails. He receives his union card, develops a wide variety of skills, becomes well connected within the artistic community, fearlessly starts a his own film production business, and purchases a house. He builds his life. The middle part of his story is, in part, characterized by survival and endurance of various catastrophes that initiate the destruction of his life in London. First, H X experiences the stock market crash. His business begins to crumble, and he loses his house. H X suffers through the sterilization, of the hitherto fertile, British entertainment environment. No creative seed could grow. But the wounding blow that he suffers comes from an unexpected source. H X discovers that social justice is an illusion, an "armor" that is a poor defense against betrayal by trusted accountants. Betrayal can be a catalyst for a period of revenge, despair, or self-reflection. The middle of HX's story is also characterized by a period of self-reflection. H X acknowledges his strengths as an artist, employer, and in dealing with others fairly. He also acknowledges his vulnerability to unethical associates, and to the modern economic climate, that he experiences as a man of business. From this experience, he engages in a form of retrenchment; he learns to become more cautious, more self-reliant, and that he is better served by improved radar, sniper skills, and by detached observation and strategic analysis of problematic situations. He emerges with a more thorough knowledge of himself and the environment in which he lives.  83  The catastasis of HX's story is a frenzied period of several personal tests. The apocalyptic final months in London severely test his personal reserves of fortitude. He survives, and emerges as a figure who has been worn down, but not defeated by his struggles. He is wounded, but remains standing. His armor, although pierced and less shinny, is re-forged and, perhaps, strengthened by experience. HX's cross-cultural story concludes with the resumption of his struggle to achieve his goal. He finds a more favorable place to continue the struggle. In other words, his return to Canada is a strategic movement to select an environment that will provide him with the best opportunity to develop his talents in live film. It is within Canada that he presently has the best chance of furthering his goal. The attainment of this goal is perhaps the greatest source of personal meaning in his life. HX's cross-cultural story of entry and reentry, is structured by a search for a hospitable artistic community in which he can build a satisfactory life. The ideal environment has plenty of available creative energy, opportunity, freedom and expression. It also offers the opportunity to form deep friendships with like minded souls involved in the world of entertainment. When he finds such an environment, H X is willing to endure and eventually prevail over obstacles in order to build his life and achieve his goals. If the environment ceases to offer opportunities for H X , he regroups, resumes his search for a more hospitable environment, and rebuilds his life to realize his goals. In such an environment, H X is willing to suffer less meaningful deficits if it offers enough opportunity to further achieve his goal. Once there is no possibility to achieve his goal, H X moves. The search is characterized by a quality of detachment from others and of critical observation; sub plots throughout his cross-cultural story. As the guest, he never identifies completely with the environment in which he lives, to do so would be to lose the advantage of observation. Even in France, where he was unaware that his sensibilities were nearly identical to French males, H X was conscious that he was a foreigner, a guest. Similarly in England, H X maintained a sense of foreignness. Upon return to Canada, he chooses to be the guest. He expects to be recognized for all of his creative accomplishments and talents, but feels snubbed  84  that he is not automatically recognized as such. Still, he maintains a detached position that offers a strategic observation of the cultural, social, and film industry environments in Canada. Yet, the search has another quality. It is a search that requires a great deal of endurance: of learning about self and the environment; of becoming better prepared, more fortified, to withstand the onslaught of crisis, of negative convergence of events, and of betrayal. At the beginning of the story H X is aware of his strengths, but unaware of his vulnerabilities. From time to time the convergence of circumstances pose obstacles so immense they blacken the HX's future horizon. These require a great degree of personal fortitude to simply survive. As well, from betrayal, H X receives a wounding blow. However, he not only repairs his armor, he fortifies it through a period of self-reflection. Like the boxer, who, after suffering a low blow, a slip on the canvas, or an unexpected haymaker, H X raises himself, continues the fight, and learns to counter-punch. He endures and learns, in order to prevail. HX's armor permits him to endure drawbacks: foreignness, and the racism, selfcenteredness, self-deception, and the self-righteous attitude that he observes, and considers endemic, in Canadian society. H X would prefer to be surrounded by like minded souls in a creative collision of artistic worlds, but this is not essential if the Canadian environment provides him with ample opportunity for furthering his career in film. He pins his hopes on his personal fortitude to prevail in his striving for recognition and further creative freedom. The return to Canada was difficult to endure, because he had to survive the destruction of his life in England in order to rebuild his life here. As well, he has had to endure the sense of being foreign in his native land. At present, HX's personalframeworkof meaning is heavily tipped in favor of his professional life. He believes that the meaningful social and cultural aspects of his life cannot be adequately nourished in Canada. However, he is willing to endure such drawbacks to eventually prevail in his struggle to become an established artist in the area of live film. What becomes clear, is that national identity holds no personal meaning for HX. H X has struggled to be grow as an artist, to be liberated from the cultural, social, financial, and even personal limitations, that impede his desire to achieve his goal.  85  His story should not be confused as that of the conquering hero or victor. The plot of HX's story is endurance to realize his ambitions. If he prevails, he will have more freedom to create and express himself. Personal recognition for his work is valued only so far as it contributes to furthering his goals. But, the trials, the battles, wear him down, like the unceasing rush of a river over rock. He does not conquer so much as he endures. Sometimes he needs to regroup, but really, there is no alternative but to prevail. If he does not endure, he loses the unifying and very meaningful fabric of his life. HX's story is not unlike that of the biblical figure, Job. Job undergoes a series of trials to test his faith in God. He reluctantly accepts, and suffers through, the numerous trials that Yahweh puts in his path. Job would rather his path of faithfulness to God be easier. Like Job, H X undergoes a series of personal trials that test his faithfulness to his goal. He would rather his path be easier. H X accepts that if he is to pursue the path of the artist, he will have to endure and overcome the numerous obstacles in his way. Sometimes the obstacles are personal, such as fear, financial status, and artistic ability. While others are of a cultural and social nature. Yet, he prevails, and is rewarded by getting closer to his desired goal. Through his trials, H X learns to better assess his personal strengths and weakness, as well as the dangers and opportunities in the environment he lives. He remains faithful to his life goal. As well, he learns to choose his comrades, battles, and even places of conflict, more strategically. Through his experiences of cross-cultural entry and reentry, H X transforms himself from the soldier, fighting in the trenches, to the experienced coronel, more aware of the entire battle field.  86  D's Storv  Table #3 D: D E M O G R A P H I C Q U E S T I O N N A I R E  Name: D.  Date of Birth: 1953.  Ethnic Background Canadian. Education: Master of Science. Relationship status: Married.  Years of Education 21. No. and ages of Children 3, 1-10 years, 2-8years.  Length of Time Overseas: 12 years. Age at Return to Canada: 38 years. Place of Overseas Assignment: Bangladesh, 12 years. City : Dhakka. Occupation / Nature of Overseas Work Assignment: Engineer. Length of time since return to Canada: 4 years. Nature of preparation, if any, for entry to host culture: CUSO pre-departure orientation. Nature of preparation, if any, for reentry to home culture: No formal preparation.  D is a married, 43 year old male Canadian, who is the father of three children. From 1975 to 1978, D volunteered in east Malaysia with CUSO (Canadian University Students Overseas). After returning to Canada, he earned his Masters degree in engineering. D then accepted a position with X Y Z , a Canadian International Engineering Consulting Firm. He was posted to Bangladesh in 1982 and returned to Canada in December 1991. After returning D was laid off. He returned to school and excelled, but had difficulty finding employment. In September 1994, D was rehired by X Y Z with the expectation that if the firm tendered a successful bid, D would return to Bangladesh to implement the contract. The firm was awarded the contract, however, D is now experiencing considerable conflict concerning his decision to fulfill the contract.  87  D's story of cross-cultural entry and reentry really began with his early desire to visit and experience life in another culture. When D's brother completed his technical training and had accepted a volunteer position with CUSO (Canadian University Students Overseas), D was interested to see whether such an adventure would suit him. His brother returned with impressive stories of many novel experiences and adventures of living abroad. What impressed D was the not only the sense of excitement and adventure that his brother had experienced, but also that if D volunteered with CUSO, he would be able to accomplish several things that he desired to do at that time in his life. As a volunteer for CUSO, D felt he would be able to not only have an adventure and learn about another culture, but also that it would be an opportunity to enhance his newly acquired engineering skills, and, at the same time, perform a worthwhile cause. It was a unique opportunity. After all, his brother seemed quite fulfilled, and although D had a girlfriend, there were no real commitments in Canada holding him back from accepting a position. After talking with his brother, D decided to complete his undergraduate engineering degree, and seek adventure, education, and experience as a volunteer, in the field of engineering, in eastern Malaysia for CUSO. In the two years that D was in east Malaysia he was really "turned on"; he learned a lot and enjoyed his posting in the relaxed rural setting. Not only did he gain international engineering experience, he felt he contributed to a worthwhile cause. Furthermore, "people were really friendly", and he was able to "function on a social level quite easily". Neither did he experience much homesickness, in part, because his girlfriend, a Canadian from Vancouver, visited twice. D's return to Canada was relatively smooth. Prior to going abroad, he formulated a definite plan of action for his return to Canada, which gave D a sense of a direction. In fact, it was his "idea for quite along time ... to come back and pursue my schooling again". Committed to the field of engineering, D planned to earn his master's degree, and in 1978, he returned to Canada,  88  just in time to start his courses. He completed his degree in two years and specialized in water resources engineering. Overall, D's time abroad, and his subsequent reentry to Canada, had been very positive, and relatively uncomplicated. D sought another such experience. Following graduation in 1980, he applied for a position with X Y Z , a small international engineering consulting firm located in Vancouver, B C . He was hired with the understanding that he would probably be posted overseas to implement one of the various projects for which X Y Z had tendered bid proposals. D spent the two years working in the X Y Z laboratory in Vancouver, but was very keen to return overseas. He had very much enjoyed his foreign volunteer work and the "idea of getting paid for doing something you like doing ... and traveling ... or just living in another country ... to do something needed ... to make an imprint on the culture", really appealed to him. Although, D had resumed his relationship with his girlfriend, it was not so serious as to make him reconsider his decision to work overseas. Although "it was difficult to leave", he felt that he was "still single" and "had fewer commitments". The middle of D's story began in 1982, when he was posted to the Small Scale Waters Control Structures Project, based in the Bangladesh capital, Dhakka. The project was considered long term; there was no defined date of project completion. Unlike his previous trip to eastern Malaysia, D had not formulated a clear plan of action to return to Canada. Instead, D was focused on leaning to operate in Bangladesh, learning how to meet challenges of life in a much different culture than either Canada, or eastern Malaysia. Professionally, D was part of a large team of expatriates and local technicians. D's responsibility was to plan, engineer, as well as oversee construction and post implementation maintenance of water control structures. D felt quite strongly that with the use of appropriate technology, the local community could maintain the structures without the costly intervention of the donor agencies. D was very pleased that the structures he designed were build with technology that allowed the local community to perform the maintenance. However, in Bangladesh, many projects were completed but did not function optimally because they did not receive proper maintenance. D spent much of his time bringing projects to  89  fruition only to have them turn into monuments. Many projects simply died on the drafting board. Frequently this was due to a lack of funding, or non compliance on behalf of the local Water Board. "It is made up of this huge bureaucracy and people are ... power building ... and to get anything done you have to go to the top all the way down through this whole mess". There were a number of "little Kings" who withheld technical information to maintain their own positions and status. Such behaviors lead to numerous headaches and frustrations for D. Over the several years that D had been in Bangladesh he felt frustrated on many different occasions because there was a definite way of "doing things ... I mean there is a certain amount of graft involved to do business ... graft is sort of a way of life there". However, D prevailed and learned how to become more effective in dealing with the different challenges of being an expatriate engineer in Bangladesh. "If you know the boundaries then you can work through the system". In 1984, D's girlfriend, J, visited him; her third overseas visit. It was then they decided to get married. J was aware that D was committed to working in Bangladesh, so she decided to remain there with him. Their first child was born in 1985. The family lived a privileged lifestyle compared to most in Bangladesh. Located in a spacious house in an international community, they were only two minutes from work. As well, they had a cook and servants. However, life in Bangladesh had several drawbacks. There, D felt a cultural pressure that he did not feel in Canada. For example, just walking around in Canada was a treat. As a foreigner in Bangladesh he could not do that without having people about. Furthermore, D observed that unlike in Malaysia, where he was able to freely socialize, in Bangladesh he felt there were cultural barriers that prevented him from forming close friendships. "There's social differences, and economic differences", and D was not sure if the host national friends "were friends because they like you ... or they want to spend time with you ... or if they just want you to buy things for them ... In Bangladesh I never felt really relaxed, and be able to ... talk to the people ... or put down my guard ... there was always a distinction between me and the people on the street or even my co-workers".  90  D questioned the authenticity of his Bangladesh friendships and found it "easier to socialize" in the rather large expatriate community. They had similar backgrounds and experiences. The Canadian Club was an oasis where he and his family would go for refuge from Bangladesh Culture. However, the family neither adopted a Bangladesh life style, nor were they frequent participants in the expatriate circuit of cocktail parties and teas. Instead, they kept to themselves by retreating to their home, the clubs of the international community, or to Canada for the annual three week visit. D considers himself a private person; in Canada today, D doesn't have many friendships. As well, D, as the male in the family, was expected to make all the decisions by the Bangladesh people, which he found tiresome. "It's a very male orientated society ... males make all the decisions". For example, even the family cook would ask him, and never his wife, about what they should have for dinner. Even though J did not have the same status afforded males in Bangladesh culture, D believes his wife was happy there. "She did remarkably well, considering there is not a lot in Bangladesh to motivate her". She did charity work with other expatiate women, but never did get involved with the people on a personal level. However, D admits to believing that she has been happier since their return to Canada. Even though Bangladesh was not ideal, it offered a stable, yet challenging work life, and a high standard of living for himself and his family. He was relatively satisfied, and although J may have preferred to live in Canada, she accepted life in Dhakka. In 1987, and again in 1988, the country suffered two natural disasters caused by severe flooding. To prevent a recurrence, the donor agencies, such as the World Bank and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), set up an over all flood action plan. The response to the natural catastrophes gave rise to different employment opportunities. In 1990, D accepted a different position in the Small Scale Waters Control Structures Project. He was to work in the Operations and Maintenance Cell. The mission statement was to modernize the accounting system to reduce the graft, and to make more efficient management, implementation, and maintenance of projects.  91  D welcomed this challenge because it meant he was going to deal directly with the Water Board "to get them on line". Besides the challenge to get the Water Board on line, there were several features of the new position that appealed to D. He would be working with other foreign engineers, and he had been hand picked by the team leader who had progressive ideas. It was lucrative, and the position that he had held for eight years was due to be phased out over the next few years. D expected this to become a long term project, "maybe ten years"; or at the very least subsequent projects would tie into this one. D wished very much to remain in Bangladesh. However, soon after D committed to the project, it began to unravel. First, it was underfunded. Second, the director of the project was dismissed. Third, it didn't have a "hope in hell" of coming to fruition because the modernization of the accounting system was hugely unpopular with the Bangladesh way of doing things. "You might as we put a gun to your head ... it runs pretty deep against the grain of the tradition". In other words the project imposed a system of checks and balances designed to circumvent the traditional system, which included "graft and kickbacks". "There was a lot of resentment". From 1990 to 1991, D tried to distance himself from the modernization of accounting practices portion of the project. He concentrated on formulating an information system, with the use of computers, to monitor the various phases of construction, operation, and maintenance of small scale projects. "I developed this information system ... and it got quite a good review ... it went all the way up to the chairman and it had a fair chance of being implemented ... but I don't think it ever was". However, by the summer of 1991, it was clear that the project would terminate. At this point D unexpectedly found himself facing the prospect of not having employment in Bangladesh. As well, he his family had grown by two; they were new parents of twins. D looked for another position and was initially hopeful that another agency would provide further funding for the project. As well, he was hopeful that there might be an opening back in the Small Scale Water Control Structures Project, but nothing turned up. Faced with increased family commitment and at the same time the prospect of unemployment, D decided to return to Canada. Had he been able to find suitable employment, D and his family, would have stayed.  92  At that juncture in his life D remembered feeling "geared up for", "resigned", and "apprehensive" about the return to Canada. D and his family returned to Canada in December of 1991. They lived in Langley in his mother-in-law's house because it was available. D remembers thinking that it was a totally different lifestyle in Canada. Not only was he getting up in the dark to commute 90 minutes to North Vancouver, he would also drive home in the dark. On the other hand, there was a lot more things to do in Canada. Compared to Bangladesh, the amount of "stimulus" was amazing: there were new things and different opportunities different aspects of your life to expose yourself to. X Y Z agreed to keep D on as long as they could, but future employment was, for the first time in ten years, a concern. "I was quite highly paid for the type of work they had me doing". However, in his own mind D was no longer a "hydraulic engineer who could spit out formulas and spew out reports dealing with hydraulic stuff. When he returned, D believed he was "ill prepared to work in Canada ... my experience is not transferable". In May of 1992, D offered to take a reduction in pay but X Y Z had no further work for him and he was laid off. D remembers that "it was pretty traumatic ... I had never been in a position like that... I was out looking for jobs and I didn't know where to begin". Because D was in pretty good financial shape, he was less concerned about earning an income than finding something enjoyable to keep busy at. Until that point in his life, his job had been the secure anchor in his life. In Bangladesh, D found that he didn't need much "stimulus" to enjoy his life because his family and work were fulfillment enough. However, without the "security" of a stable routine, D experienced considerable anxiety. It was in May of 1992 that D decided to return to school to further develop his computer skills. In Bangladesh he had worked for two years with computers, enjoyed it, and was hopeful that with this extra skill he could find a stable job to keep himself "occupied and happy" in the local economy. D settled in and excelled at school; it provided a secure, stable routine for two years. At the same time his family seemed to thrive. His children in particular, became involved in various sports and community activities, such as Scouting. "There's a lot more things you can do here, I mean, especially for the kids".  93 However, D had a difficult experience when searching for employment in May 1994. When the various corporate job recruiters, who visited the technical school, would look at his resume, D felt embarrassed. He believed that they were looking for a junior level computer systems person; a young person who they could pay cheap wages, mold and groom for the organization. They didn't want him because he "didn't fit the mold". D believed that the employers were a bit in awe of his resume: recruiters would realize that D had had so much experience that he would not be satisfied in an entry level computer systems position. In fact he construed his considerable experience in Bangladesh to have been a hindrance in his job search. Furthermore, D "really hates looking for jobs because he almost feels like a beggar". D does not consider himself an extrovert; he doesn't express himself well in interview settings. Through the summer of 1994, D sent out 30 to 40 resumes, checked the boards, and papers "and there was nothing". Although he felt anxious concerning employment, he quite enjoyed his life in Canada. He spent two summers at his family cottage, his wife was happier in Canada, and his children were thriving. However, without a job, without structure in his day, D felt lost. D admits that leading a structured life is even more important than doing something he likes. In the summer of 1994 he did different jobs around the house just to keep busy. In September of 1994 he was contacted by X Y Z . The consulting firm wanted to know if D would consent to having his name mentioned as a possible candidate for a project proposal in Bangladesh. At this point D consented and hired on with the understanding that if X Y Z received the contract he would be posted again in Bangladesh. In D's mind, it was simply a proposal: "We were one of seven consulting firms bidding on the job and I didn't give it too much credence". For D it was an opportunity to re-appropriate stable structure into his life. In September of 1994 he was offered a position as a "glorified technician ... junior engineer", which he accepted. D found himself in circumstances similar to that of 14 years previous, when he first hired on with X Y Z . In 1994, D resumed a junior level position, and for two years, he was satisfied.  94  However, when the Bangladesh proposal was awarded to XYZ. D was faced with many decisions. At first, D was hoping the project would be awarded to XYZ; he enjoyed his life in Bangladesh. However, when he further investigated the project there were draw backs in the lifestyle he would be leading: "everything was sort of negative". First, they would not be living in Dhakka, which would mean that there would be no services comparable to those in Canada. This would be fine for D, but not for his children nor his wife who had become use to the incredible scope of activities available in Canada. Second, the cost of education for his three children would be ultra expensive; he wouldn't save money. Neither was D enamored with the prospect of commuting should he locate his family in Dhakka. His life had become much more complex; the two major desires in his life, work and family, had become difficult to reconcile. He considered the risks and opportunities of the various options. He identified these as: a) remain in Canada with XYZ, the ideal; b) find employment in Canada with a different firm; c) return to school; or d) go to Bangladesh with out his family. In the last year D has experienced considerable conflict concerning the options available. D suspects that if he were not to accept the overseas position he would be laid off. He tried option (b) in 1994, an is fearful that if he left XYZ he might not find anything else. Furthermore, he had already given his word that he would accept the position. D has also seriously considered returning to school for further training. In 1995, D applied to and was offered a place in a program. In part his consideration of a return to school was influenced by the experience of his best friend. Like D, his friend, a Canadian who worked in Bangladesh, experienced difficulty getting a job once he returned to Canada. The friend, then accepted an overseas position in Indonesia, but chose to live apart from his family who remained in Canada, for a variety of reasons. Upon return to Canada, the friend once again had difficulty finding work, "he also had been floating". However, D has chosen not to follow that route because he is fearful that he may find himself in the same place where he was at in May 1994, educated but without a job. D is anxious to see how his friend fairs. D has decided on the last option: fulfill the overseas contract while his family resides in Canada. He feels obliged to accept the contract but is experiencing a major conflict. Since that  95  time, D has done "a lot of soul searching" and none of his family has come to grips with it yet. "I don't think anybody knows how difficult it is going to be". For example, D has became acquainted with a co-worker at XYZ who, for the last two years, has worked in Bangladesh while his family resided in Canada. "He is non too popular with his family". D is fearful that if he goes abroad without them, that he, and his wife and children, will experience real strain. He worries about his children, particularly because he considers that they need a "full time father". As well, he is worried he will be blamed for mishaps that occur in his absence. He is also concerned that his wife will take on too much because she will need to in his absence. But what he is really torn up about is the guilt he would feel for not being there with his family. As well, D is fearful of the loneliness he expects to experience if he goes to Bangladesh without his family. D put is this way: "If I accept the position then I will have structure in my life. Furthermore, this project is very, very lucrative ... its so lucrative that I can't afford to turn down ... but it has its price and that's the price that I have to leave my family at home and I'm already feeling guilty about that". If D does go to Bangladesh, he will probably try to be involved in something that he can hold on to. He is aware that his friend dealt with the loneliness of being apartfromhis family by becoming a workaholic: something that D does not want to become. Potentially, D may be abroad for approximately three years. He would return to Canada one out of every forth month to see his family. D is not sure of how this move will impact his family, nor his relationships with his children or his wife. He is hopeful that he will have earned enough to semi retire to the family cottage, but isn't sure that he would like that. "I'm too young to retire". Ideally, in the future, D would like to pick and chose his overseas assignments, and try to maintain his position with XYZ. He would like to stay in Canada with his family at least until the kids are through school.  Comments. D's fist trip overseas was a prelude to the main chapters of his cross-cultural story. As a young man, twenty three years of age and educated, he was free to volunteer with CUSO. It was an experience that not only satisfied his desire to live in, and learn about, life in  96 another culture, but it was also a chance to increase his professional skills. As well, he experienced his return to Canada as relatively uncomplicated. In part, this was due to his plan, formulated before going abroad, to pursue a master's degree upon return to Canada. School provided D with stable routine and structure that helped D advance along his desired path as an engineer. The trip was more or less an "neat opportunity" to gain life experience as D searched for a more defined direction in his life. However, the trip was also significant in that D became attracted to life overseas; he was primed to build his life outside of Canada. He embraced the next opportunity to work abroad as an engineer when the opportunity arose. He had no serious commitment in Canada and was, like his first trip abroad, free to go. However, the circumstances in his life made the decision to work for XYZ in Bangladesh much different than his decision to volunteer in east Malaysia. It signified an end to his experimenting with the direction of his life; he became more committed to building his life as a Canadian expatriate. This decision heralds the middle part of his cross-cultural story. In fact, much of his life there was spent familiarizing himself with the work culture, dealing with frustrations, and of over coming bureaucratic administration difficulties. It was a period of establishing himself in Bangladesh. His life became more complicated with his decision to marry. For D, marriage, the birth of his first son, and later, the birth of twins, were significant increments of emotional, and financial, commitment and responsibility. Family life filled his life with a much higher degree of complexity and fullness. As well, the decision to build a family was, one might say, a sign posts of his desire to settle down in this stage of his life. From 1984 to 1990, D's mid to late thirties, his life was satisfying: he has established a family, and had made a significant social contribution. Furthermore, he had solidified a good work reputation which attracted the attention of another project leader. D changed his position of employment for several reasons. First, the new position offered a chance to get the water board on line. In other words, it was a chance to make significant contributions to enhance the effectiveness of his work. Second, he had been hand picked; his talents and skills were  97  recognized. Third, the new position offered advancement, and in his mind, a secure future in Bangladesh. The new project had the potential to turn into a long term position. On the other hand, the project on he had worked on for eight years, was due to wind down. It seemed to logical next step for D, who desired to stay in Bangladesh. However, as he built his life in Bangladesh, his life in Canada became more historical, than current. However, D soon realized that the project was doomed to fail because of it was received poorly by the Bangladesh workers. For D, this spelled the end of his secured position in Bangladesh. D's work had been the primary base for his life there and other than his family; it was much of what he has struggled to build up, the structure that provided the foundation of his life overseas. However, when he was unable to find funding to continue work on implementing the information system he developed, and when he was unable to find other suitable work in Bangladesh, he unexpectedly found himself without work. Up until this point in D's life, he had been advancing in the expatriate community. However, upon return to Canada, he found himself in an incongruent position in life. He had created the life of an established, competent, and successful expatriate Canadian. The key is that his was the life of an expatriate, not that of a man who has spent the last ten years building his life in Canada. In Canada, he perceived that many of his credentials were not applicable. Furthermore, he no longer viewed himself as a hydraulic engineer. Just how he could contribute to the engineering community was unknown to D. He experienced the return to Canada and the subsequent dismissal from work, culminating events to his life abroad, as very traumatic. The next chapters in D's life were centered around attempts to rebuild a life anchored by stable work in Canada. It is as if he returned to a previous period in his life where he was forced to consider what he desired, and how to best achieve this goal. His choice was to extend his knowledge of computers, to augment his engineering skills with the hope that he could secure a position in the local economy. For two years, D, who had saved enough to maintain his lifestyle, returned to school for retraining. During this time his family began to thrive. With the huge range of possibilities, they developed different interests not possible in Bangladesh. For D, it was also a time of enjoyment.  98  He excelled at school, enjoyed his summers with his family at the cottage, and took joy in the sense that his children were doing well. However, upon graduation and re-entrance in to the work force, D became disillusioned. He considered that he did not "fit the mold" of prospective employers. In his mind he was either too old, too experienced, or not equipped with the right experience. Furthermore, he felt embarrassment when prospective employers would examine his resume and shake their heads. Such experienced left him with a profound doubt as to how to integrate his divergent experiences into rebuilding his life in Canada. The current period in D's life is one of increased wavering and doubt concerning his future direction. When XYZ contacted him to offer a position that provided him with a few years of stable employment, he jumped at the chance to re-establish a sense of structure in his life. However, this decision only postponed the difficult choices that D faces. On the one hand he desires to remain in Canada because his family thrives here. On the other hand, he feels drawn to a life overseas. Abroad, he can fully utilize his talents, earn a good living, and provide for the needs of his family. He feels torn. The job overseas is "very lucrative ... but it has a price and that is that I have to leave my family here. And I'm already feeling guilty about that, I'm not sure how it is going to work out". D is aware that his not being present will put a tremendous load on his spouse as well as his children. He is also concerned about how he will deal with being apart from them: he anticipates being homesick, and is aware that he could, like others in his position, turn into a workaholic. After considering his options, D has decided to go abroad without his family. "I've tried to do my best for my family, I've tried to find work here ... that would have been ideal... but its the best I can do now ... but its not optimum". At present D is not sure what the future holds for him. One option is retirement. Once this project is complete he will be financially well off, and able to retire. One the other hand, he feels to young to retire. Another option, that D considers viable, is to become further established both overseas and in Canada. D believes that with more experience he could act as an overseas  99  consultant, able to delineate the terms of an overseas contract that would be more suitable to his and his families' needs. The narrative of D's story is one of integrating various aspects that D desires in his life: travel, work, family, and social contribution. At the beginning of his story, D's life is relatively uncomplicated; there are no commitments holding him backfromfulfilling his desire to work overseas. At the end of his story his life is much more complex; he has difficulty integrating his overseas experience in to a desired life in Canada. The middle of D's story is characterized by the building of his life, followed by threats that shake the foundations of what he has built. When D arrives in Bangladesh as a young man, he is concerned with establishing himself at work. Later, his focus broadens to include family as a key component. However, his is the life of an expatriate, and the structures of his life are not easily movedfromone cultural context to the next. The loss of overseas work propels D to return to Canada. His once stable, and secure future, anchored by his overseas work, is now less certain. The return to Canada has been, for D, a period of trying to pilot his future in a way so that he, as a husband and father, can provide for the needs of his wife, children, and himself. It has been a period of trauma in which D has tried different avenues to re-appropriate a stable and secure future for himself and his family. In Canada, the structure of his life is threatened by the loss of domestic work. It is as if at the beginning of his early forties, D has had to return to an earlier period in his life to reestablish his domestic work credentials. He deals with this problem by retraining. However, his difficulties at finding work only serve to heighten his sensitivity to the threat to the life he has built. This series of set backs in finding stable employment are culminating events that leave D feeling doubtful that he can achieve his ideal: work in Canada to provide for the needs of himself and his family. At present, D hopes to make the best of a difficult situation, but it is farfromoptimum. His future remains unsettled, however, he hopes that by accepting the overseas position, he will be morefreefromfinancial worries, more able to choose the style of life he desires to live, and free to choose where he desires to live life. D faces future difficult decisions as to how to realize his desire to integrate his desire for meaningful and stable work with his desire for family life.  100  Validation Interview Following the narrative interviews each co-researcher was presented with the initial case study account as well as comments. They were asked to read the account to check for accuracy, and to make any necessary revisions. The co-researchers were then requested to recount their reactions to reading their stories. D commented that he thought the rendered story was a "very accurate" account of his experiences. He made no major revisions. He found reading his own story a good opportunity to become more self-reflective. That his experiences have been understood by someone else has given D the satisfaction that his story is a significant contribution to others who face similar challenges. N considered the story "put together well" and requested only minor revisions to the text, such as date changes. He was very moved by his own story. Reading his story was very validating: he considers that he is on the right path, and it has spurred his desire to become more self-reflective to integrate not only his cross-cultural experiences, but other experiences in his life. HX commented that he considered the account to be clear, coherent, and interesting. HX considered the original account to be overly focused on his desire to become a director of live film. Rather, his goals in the film industry are generally more diverse. Reading the account, HX was a bit surprised by his arrogance towards Canadian culture, although he did not request any changes to the tone of the text. HX also stated that reading his own story, rendered in the third person, was cause to become more self-reflective.  101  CHAPTER V Comparative Analysis  The approach taken to understand the impact of the experience of reentry in shaping a life history has been through story. However, co-researchers could not simply discuss their experience of reentry without first providing a context: the overall cross-cultural experience. However, even this, is but another chapter within the more encompassing life history of the individual. The individual's accumulated experiences and their meaning making of them, impact each chapter of a person's life history. Therefor, to understand the meaning of the experience of reentry and how it shapes a life history, necessitated a widening of the narrative context to include not only the entire cross-cultural experience, but co-researcher's life history. To use a gestalt paradigm: the foreground was reentry, the background was the cross-cultural experience, the field was the life history. The purpose of the comparative analysis is to examine the overall nature of the crosscultural story, with a special emphasis on the experience of reentry. These stories, like all stories, have a beginning, middle and trajected end. The stories are strung together by a sequence of events, that when linked, move the story along and give it a 'narrative structure'. The meaning of the events constitute the story's themes. Collectively, narrative structure, events, and themes, impart the story with what Spence (1982) defines as 'narrative truth'. To reiterate, it is "the criterion we use to decide when a certain experience has been captured to our satisfaction; it depends on continuity and closure and the extent to which the fit of the pieces takes on an aesthetic finality" (p. 31). Narrative structure, events and themes are interdependent; they form a gestalt in which each stage of the story (beginning, middle, end) satisfies the other stages. In other words, the linkage of the events, narrative structure, and themes lend the 'true story' conviction, coherence, and make it believable. Thus, comparative analysis must consider all three components, to further enhance our understanding of the nature of the cross-cultural story of entry and reentry as a genre.  102  In the beginning, the co-researchers left Canada. In the middle, they resided overseas and experienced some event, or combination of events, that dislodged them from the life they had been leading and caused them to consider a return to Canada. The conclusion of the overseas portion of their story overlaps with the beginning of the story of reentry. The co-researchers returned to a changed Canada, as already changed people. The middle part of the story of reentry is a period of re-orientation to the possibilities of a future life. The trajected end of reentry, is one where the co-researchers transcend the challenges of reentry and reposition their lives directed towards fulfillment. The linkage of these events forms a narrative structure for the total cross-cultural story. It was tempting to employ changes of locations, which offer natural points of transition between the different phases of the story, as a framework with which to conduct the comparative analysis. However, what each event means in the story is where our interest lies. In other words, what are the individual and common meanings of the event and how do they contribute to the end of the story? Since events are laden with themes of meaning, events and themes were discusses concurrently. However, a tight chronologically ordered package of event / meanings was not forth coming; events take on different significance through time. As a result, there is considerable overlap between the phases of the story. The cross-cultural story has a prologue, or preamble. Essentially, the preamble is a review of circumstances that impinged upon the co-researchers' circumstances in life at the time of deciding to leave Canada. The significance of the preamble is that it introduces the yearnings, disequilibriums, or gaps, between the co-researchers' idealized life, and their current situation. Furthermore, it provides an initial context to understand motivations of actions that coresearchers undertake.  The P r e a m b e l  By the time that each participant decided to travel abroad they had begun to articulate a personal orientation to life. A personal orientation is a sense of what is necessary to include, and enact in one's life for one to feel fulfilled. Charles Taylor (1989) discusses this concept as one's  103  'personal good', which one continually evaluates through time. Both Cochran (1986, 1990) and Taylor concur that one's orientation towards fulfillment is important in order to lead a unified life: is the life one is living leading towards, or away from, fulfillment? When N chose to leave Canada, he had, to a certain extent, lost his position in life. He had lived a somewhat traditional cultural script in the sense that he had gone to university, graduated, and began exploring employment opportunities. He began to consolidate his life direction in the federal police force. The move within the federal police force, from the civilian division to the fraud division, was a refinement of his position in life. The 'failure' to complete the federal police force training created a rupture in his personal text and left him feeling regretful, lost and under siege. While recuperating in his parents house, N was engaged in a difficult confrontation concerning his future direction. N had come to the conclusion that his life was off course. The beginning of N's cross-cultural journey is framed by his need to escape uncomfortable emotions, to regroup, to become rejuvenated; to get some breathing space. However, the story is implicitly framed by N's desire to re-position himself in a more unified life direction. By the time HX chose to leave Canada, he had already achieved a very unified orientation to life. He had experienced considerable success as an animator. Furthermore, others identified him as artistic, and he desired, above all else, to become an artist. His overwhelming motivation for going overseas was to further that goal through education and life experience. D, on the other hand, was seeking to consolidate his position as an engineer, and to realize his ideal of making a significant contribution to others. To a certain extent, each co-researcher was influenced by desires for education and adventure. However, by the time each departed from Canada, they were already engaged in personal tales that were very significant influences on their decisions to go abroad. The preamble establishes the context for the commencement of the cross-cultural story. Although the events of the cross-cultural story unfold in chronological fashion, their meaning to each protagonist forms a part of their personal text (identity), which is continually revised as new information is gathered.  104  Fitt* I: Separation: Play. Scoping the Fields Common to each co-researcher is the experience of a trial separationfromtheir lives in Canada. The dominant.theme of this stage is exploration of overseas life possibilities. When an individual extracts themselvesfromhis or her own social-cultural context, they experience, to a greater or lesser degree, a discontinuity in their life story (identity). A change in the socialcultural setting initiates a change in identity because one's identity is, in part, formed within a social-cultural context. The nature of the change can lead to a rupture of identity, or surprisingly, an affirmation of identity. Initially, the co-researchers were able to comfortably experience the possibilities of a life abroad without experiencing threats to their sense of security, belonging and well being, that giving up their life in Canada might entail. Each co-researcher wasfreeto reflect upon, explore, and experiment with, different life paths without the sense of making irreversible decisions, without becoming committed to a life abroad, without disrupting their sense of self. At the same time, the trial separation was a sort of test: could they make it themselves? How self-supporting and individuated were they? Like children exploring a new environment in the presence of mom and dad, the co-researchers were still psychological secure in their attachment to life in Canada. That each experienced significant successes while initially abroad was important. Had they not enjoyed their experience, chances are they might have returned to Canada for good. However, this was not the case. Originally, N planned to travel for a one year period and then return to Canada. Not only was he able to evade the feelings of being under siege, N was able to foster within himself a sense of rejuvenation, excitement, and wonder. HX had successfully endured his first year at art school, excelled in the vibrant artistic community of Paris, and felt a strong sense of belonging in France. D was able to realize his ideal of making a significant contribution to others, increasing his engineering skills, and learning about another lifestyle.  * The term 'Fitt' is an Old English word that denotes a particular event or experience in a poem, song, or narrative. It can be likened to a stanza of verse in a poem, or a chapter in a novel. It is the internal division of a text that serves to highlight different significant periods of actions and / or contemplations. A Fitt is derivedfromthe universal tetradic concept of life, that is, it follows the natural flow of seasons (winter, spring, summer and fall) in a human's life. Furthermore, it is the formal term to delineate the stages of a quest.  105  Such successes contributed to the sense that each could not only survive the separation from their lives in Canada, but that they could also thrive. The protagonists felt inspired. When they considered a return to Canada, they did so with an awareness of an alternative setting for their life path. However, another experience proved important at the conclusion of the trial separation from Canada. For both HX and D, the initial reentry was pivotal in their decision to return overseas. When HX returned, he had been affirmed by his overseas experience. Not only had he fit in completely in France, he had begun to enact his position as an artist. When he returned to Canada, he realized he had few significant attachments. In his eyes, Canada was provincial; his attitude towards Canadians and their culture was one of disdain. Furthermore, there was no family unit to return to, his friends were not doing anything exciting, and he recognized that there was very limited opportunity to follow his path as an artist. Having cultivated a position of detachment from others, the short visit to Canada confirmed to him that he had nothing to risk, and everything to gain, by being committed to a life overseas. It was only there that he could he pursue his dream to become an artist. With increased commitment to pursue a life overseas, HX became further detached from his life in Canada. It can be argued that HX did not suffer a discontinuity in his life story caused by a change in setting or increased commitment to a life overseas. In fact, he entered into a most meaningful social-cultural setting: that which allowed him to pursue his life as an artist. Rather than suffering a rupture, his identity as an artist was affirmed. When he initially returned to Canada, he had been transformed. Looked at from another perspective, HX had, throughout his adolescence, been somewhat culturally dislocated in Canada. D, like HX, had also been affirmed by his overseas experience. However, the nature of the initial return to Canada was different. When D returned to Canada after two years in east Malaysia there was hardly any rupture in his life. He returned to school, his relationship and his family, essentially without experiencing difficulty. For D, the meaning of the initial reentry was that he learned it was possible to live a fulfilled life overseas and then to return to Canada without any significant disruption in his life. When D returned overseas, he was motivated by  106  his previous cross-cultural experience. Issues of separation, attachment, and risk, were not initially in his awareness, probably because any apprehensions concerning his initial return were allayed by the smooth transition back to Canada. N, in contrast to HX and D, did not return to Canada at the conclusion of the trial separation. For N, it was neither the decision to leave Canada, nor the actual departure that brought forth a feeling of conflict. This issue crystallized when he was confronted with the feeling that a decision had to made concerning his commitment to overseas life. N more keenly experienced the risks of losing meaningful supports, such as family, than the other protagonists. Unlike HX who was securely attached to a life abroad, or D, who remained securely attached to life in Canada, N felt partially attached to both his overseas life as well as to his life in Canada. In essence, the proposal of marriage confronted N with a decision between two alternative settings for his life. Issues of cross-cultural conflict arose because it is in place, and through time, that one achieves a sense of security, competence, self-worth, and fulfillment. Unfortunately, the period to become resolute concerning where he and S would settle, was effectively abbreviated by the injury he sustained on the second leg of his overseas travel. N's decision to 'try' to build a life overseas indicates that he was not resolute about a life path overseas. As a result, his attachment and commitment to a life overseas, remained conflicted and ambivalent. No doubt a change in identity was embryonic during the trial separation. However, the significance of the trial separation is that the co-researchers' had the opportunity to experience alternative settings to actualize their life path. Throughout their experience they were able to not only assess the risks and opportunities, but to a certain degree, how much living overseas 'mattered' to them. The configuration of this assessment highlights issues of separation, attachment, and commitment the co-researchers' experience during the period of deciding to live overseas.  107  Fitt II: Actualizing Utopia. Consecrating a Home Increased commitment to a life overseas marks a transition in the story where the participants strive to define, refine, and / or actualize, what is meaningful to them as persons. The dominant theme in this portion of the story is striving to becoming established and to harmonize the various stances (artist, father, husband, business person, engineer, householder, adventurer) in one's life. Larry Cochran (1990) refers to this process as the drive towards personhood. "Personhood had been described as a regnant stance or position that composes other stances into a more or less harmonious composition" (p. 39). Subordinate themes are appropriation of meaningful life sources of support, assessment of risk and opportunity, increased separation from Canada, and increased attachment to overseas life. To the extent that the protagonist is surrounded by a supportive context in their new environment they become sensitized to possibilities, choice, and risk. In part, risk and opportunity clarify what is of personal importance to each protagonist. The desired context, may include, among others, work, family, community and relationships, as well as housing. Such supports, which contribute to emotional, psychological, physical, and, for some, spiritual well being, are disrupted when one commits to life overseas. To the extent that such supports, are important to the protagonist, their lack can threaten an individual's sense of self. To regain a sense of stability, those who cross cultural boundaries usually strive to re-assemble meaningful life supports. Such actions correspond to what Ishiyama (1995) might call the re-building of a self-validation network. N and HX had few supports when they ventured overseas. However, D as an engineering consultant, had a pre-existing protective cocoon of employment, housing, and a community of expatriates, to ease his transition to Bangladesh. Such a framework may have moderated the initial risks to D's sense of self. As an expatriate, D was sheltered from the travails that most Bangladesh nationals experience daily. In fact, D's main striving in Bangladesh was to earn credibility and gain recognition by learning how to maneuver productively within the very complex Bangladesh / expatriate engineering community. The other main support in his life was his family. Providing, and caring for his family, supplied D with a great sense of joy, purpose,  108  and fulfillment. D lived a harmonious life in Bangladesh. However, his sense of security, competence, identity and fulfillment were highly underpinned by his professional life. As long as D maintained his position as a foreign, competent, professional, he did not experience threats to his lifestyle. When N left Canada he had done so because he needed a reprieve. Part of his future was clarified by his marriage to S. However, his position and direction remained clouded. For N, the unresolved issues of giving up a life path in Canada, as well as the daily reminders that he was foreign, influenced him to be conflicted concerning many aspects of his life in England. As a consequence, the structure of supports that N sought to assemble remained shaky. Furthermore, the stances that N took towards the various aspects of his life remained somewhat disharmonious. Consider the following. N was committed to his marriage and to his son. However, his wife remained terrified in her belief that N wished to return to Canada. Furthermore, N remained hesitant to purchase a house. In his profession, N had the feeling that he was on an extended vacation and that his real career had yet to begin, even though he had become a very successful financial analyst and trader. When the couple left England to move to Ireland, N was not particularly attached to work, his friendships, or his house: his time in England was characterized by estrangement. Much of his striving to achieve position and direction in life was undermined by a non-committal attitude to life in England. The move to Ireland represented a more concerted effort to decisively break from Canada, to more firmly establish his life overseas. N attempted to build a more solid structure of supports in his life. He became very attached to S's family, very much a "carbon copy" of his own family. Furthermore, he purchased a house that very much provided him with a sense of well being. Symbolically, N was cultivating roots in Ireland. When he was unhappy at the bank and in his home life, rather than escape, he actively sought to remedy the situation by the successful establishment of his own business. For N, the first few years in Ireland was a period in which his doubts concerning his life path overseas, dissolved. His wavering was replaced with commitment; N began to let go of his  109  imagined life course in Canada. He had begun to appropriate a defined purpose and had begun to find his place overseas. In effect, N was becoming a contented family man, able, for the first time, to clearly see a future for himself overseas. For N, the search for a position through trial and error and the assembling of this framework of meaningful suports was an end in itself. When HX returned to France, following his short trip to Canada, he was very committed to making a life for himself overseas. During his practicum, HX refined his life direction; he desired to become a director of live action film. It was in this period that HX labored to plant solid roots in England. He received his trade union certification, became well established in a community of like minded souls, formed his own film production company, and was married. Each support contributed in some manner to furthering his mission to become a director of live film. London, like Paris before, was the ideal community for HX. His home was, in fact, located within the colliding worlds of the London artistic community. The significance of this period in the lives of the protagonists it that they had, through their concerted efforts, found a sense of fulfillment. Not only did they create an established position in life, they had developed, to differing degrees, a framework of supports and a harmony of stances. They began to further articulate what it was they desired in their lives. Furthermore, they could project their lives forward and were able to endorse the direction they were headed. Through their striving the protagonists had become contextually rooted to life overseas. Such undertakings can be likened to the archetypal action of establishing and consecrating a home. According to Eslbree (1982), the dominant theme of this "action concerning the self is the making of order ... the creation of order out of chaos so that the self becomes possible" (p. 16). Because each had achieved a sense of stability and because each was primed to harvest the fruits of their labor, the next phase common to the cross-cultural story, was somewhat devastating to the protagonists: it heralds the collapse of much of what they had been striving for and a return to chaos.  110  Fitt III: The Storm  Fitt III-A: Disruption. In this phase of the story, an event, or a series of events disrupts the co-researchers' established course of life and throws their once stable, future direction, in to doubt. Themes associated with disruption are threats to a stable identity, dislodgment or incompletion, self-reflection, and re-orientation. To the extent that one's life is disrupted the future seems unclear, and there are fewer recognizable paths through the upheaval. One's sense of self can be threatened. The disrupting events in N's life were the death of wife and the subsequent sense of rejection that he felt from his mother in law. Metaphorically, the anchor of security, stability, belonging and purpose that N achieved mostly through his marriage and attachment to his Irish family was, effectively, cut. His home was lost. N felt a profound sense of emptiness and meaninglessness in his life. Like twenty years previous when he was unable to realize a life path in the federal police force, N was again abruptly plunged into turmoil. The loss of S and her family severely challenged the other sources of stability in his life (work), as well as his reasons for remaining in Ireland. He experienced intense pain. Two main events disrupted HX's life course. First, the stock market crash initiated the demise of the British entertainment industry. Because such an event seemed so remote to HX's life, he did not immediately recognize how he might be impacted. The second event, betrayal by trusted accountants, was more immediate. This event left him feeling angry, bitter, and somewhat gun shy to re-engage in society as a business entrepreneur. The upshot of these events was that the opportunity for HX to pursue his mission to become a film director was extremely limited in England. Second, many of his supportive structures were gradually swept away. For HX, this included his friendships, his business, his house, as well as intangibles, such as freedom to create or to choose personal projects. When he should have been advancing in his mission to become a director, he found that he was instead, struggling to simply survive and to hang on to his dream. His home, the artistic community of London, was being dismantled piece by piece. For HX, the culmination of these events was that  Ill he could see no possible way in England to realize his life mission. It was "completely hopeless" in London; there was no future for him there. D did not immediately recognize the influence that the termination of his overseas position would have on his life; he was still protected by a pre-existing cocoon of stability that employment in Canada provided to him. He received a wake up call when he was laid off four months after he returned to Canada. The significance of the disruption is that the lives of the protagonists were blown off course. It was a period of upheaval. At stake was a way of life that had been secured through concerted striving, and much endurance of emotional, relational, financial, and cultural upheavals. In effect, the disrupting event(s) either dislodge the protagonist from a desired position or, if the disrupting event(s) is (are) shattering, the protagonist can be returned to a state of incompletion. According to Cochran (1991), the state of incompletion is existential, when one becomes aware of an entanglement in one's life. More formally, incompletion is "a sustained confrontation with one's own inner division in relation to outward possibilities" (p. 38). The return to this state can happen overseas, or upon return to Canada. It can happen suddenly or gradually. The recognition that one has entered into a state of incompletion marks the beginning of a difficult period in one's life. In a sense, one glimpses aspects of what Connie Zweig and Jeremiah Abrams (1990) might call one's shadow. The shadow represents our untamed negative emotions and behaviors, such as shame, lack of courage, fear, rage, and anger among others. Incompletion becomes a period of self-confrontation and, "one must endure the upheaval to move on" (Cochran, 1991, p. 40). On the other hand the overwhelming desire to escape one's shadow and painful feelings offers a strong motivation to escape. If one endures and does not short circuit the experience, two vital gains, composition and inspiration, are afforded the protagonist in their attempt to become re-oriented. Composition is a dramatization of what life is and might be. It is a period of sustained soul searching and responsibility-taking that clarifies obstacles in the path to re-orient one self. For  112  some, this may mean re-owning one's shadow of negative emotions and behaviors. Inspiration, on the other hand, stems from the repeated experience of a cluster of desires through the enactment of dramas in one's life. Successes breed optimism and instills within a sense of mastery. In effect, the period following the recognition that one's life is somehow off course, is a characterized by turmoil, leading to escape, or composition and inspiration. The latter eventually give rise to re-orientation of life position and direction. According to Cochran (1990), a person has three options when faced with a setting, event, or influence that threatens one's position. One can exclude, avoid, or get out of inappropriate situations .... one can search for or create a more favorable setting .... one can symbolically encompass and transform a situationfroman inappropriate to an appropriate setting (p. 112). Of the three protagonists, only HX was prepared at this point to engage in a period of selfreflection and responsibility-taking. For N and D, soul searching self-reflection and responsibility-taking occurred after each returned to Canada. According to Cochran and Laub (1994), self-reflection allows the protagonists to re-present and re-experience an event or situation, to weave its elements into a story in order to correct deficits, foster a sense of personal agency, and to lay the ground work for a more fulfilled future. It was after a lengthy period of struggle that HX began to realize that no matter what course of action he took in London, he would not be able to create a more favorable situation for himself; his life had blown off course. Once he had recognized this, HX engaged in an initial period of self-confrontation. He became more aware of personal strengths and he acknowledged his weakness. The initial forays back to Canada were, in effect, dramatizations of composition and inspiration for a possible re-orientation to life. In other words, the excursions to Canada were periods of exploration and knowledge gathering reminiscent of the period when theyfirstwent overseas. However, separationfromoverseas life also recalls themes similar to the trial separationfromCanada; exploration, escapefromunfinished business, and re-orientation of position. After S died, N was adrift. He began to feel differently concerning the other important supporting structures in his life. For example, work became less meaningful to him. On the  113  other hand, his role as a parent became paramount. N feared that in Ireland P may not have a family. And, N was concerned that he would require family support to help in the raising of his son. N returned to Canada for a three week visit approximately one month after S died. While in Canada, N derived the sense of belonging, security, and support from connection to his family that he had denied himself for nearly twenty years. He began to ponder what life might be like if he received family support in raising his son. Again, N became embroiled in a difficult decision concerning the setting to lead his life; unresolved issues concerning his commitment to life in Ireland, resurfaced. On the one hand, he had lived in Europe nearly half his life, his son's identity was English and Irish, he was committed to a successful business partnership, and he had already endured much upheaval to scratch out a position and life direction overseas. It was a period of "mixed emotions". Returning to Canada meant leaving his "home ... friends and relations ... giving it all up". Conversely, the possibility to secure support in raising P, and the desire for belonging, security and well being that N experienced with his family caused N to experience an urge to return to Canada more strongly than at any other period during his overseas life. N required a second, and then third, excursion, to Canada to become more resolute concerning his decision to return to Canada. However, similar to the initial leave taking from Canada, what N immediately desired was to avoid, or escape his pain: grief, abandonment, loneliness. Unlike HX, who was prepared to engage in a period of self-reflection, N needed a reprieve. However, when he left for Canada, N packed his unfinished business: grief, and attachment for Ireland. In London, HX had attempted to improve his situation. However, he came to the conclusion that their situation "was completely hopeless in London". HX, together with his partner, traveled throughout North America. The couple returned to London full of optimism. It quickly dissipated when they were unable to improve their circumstances. It was then that HX, and his partner, seriously entertained the desire to immigrate to Canada. The trip was a period of information gathering. Furthermore, it was inspirational. In North America, paths existed that each could follow to further their sense of fulfillment.  114  When D considered a return to Canada it was not motivated by the awareness that his life had been blown off course, that had yet to happen. He fully expected that the overseas contract would eventually end, and, at some point, he would return to Canada. After an unsuccessful hunt for an alternative position, D became resigned to return to Canada. During the family's annual vacation to Canada, he became aware that Canada offered the best option for him to maintain what he had worked so hard to achieve: a stable and rewarding life as an engineer and family man. In Canada there was employment, his family felt a sense of belonging and well being, and he believed that he could, without much difficulty, resume his life here. However, D was not resolute concerning his own desire to return to Canada. Had he found a position, he would have stayed in Bangladesh. D returned to Canada to consolidate the gains he had achieved overseas, but was in fact, just awakening to the realization that his life had blown off-course. When the protagonists returned to Canada, they were in various stages of a cyclical process of re-orientation: 1) becoming aware that their lives had blown off course, 2) coming to grips with the event through soul searching self-reflection, and 3) enacting dramatizations for the continuance of their life story. Thus, their experience of reentry is grounded, to some extent, by how much of this cycle each had experienced by the time they returned to Canada.  Fitt III-B: Reentry: A stunning into consciousness. The experience of cross-cultural reentry is a natural pause in one's life story where one has the opportunity to become a sort of spectator concerning one's life. One is between cultures, in a liminal space, separate from both the overseas life, and the life in Canada yet to unfold. As a spectator, one takes stock of personal and social cultural changes that have occurred with the elapse of time. According to Cochran and Laub (1994), separation allows a person "to detach and emerge from a way of living, to experience detachment and emergence" (p. 41). However, unlike the initial separation from Canada, or during the recent forays to Canada, the nature of the separation is different upon return to Canada. For these protagonists, this separation is characterized not by secure exploration of the Canadian social-cultural  115  environment, but by occasions of polarities of experience: isolation verses reunion, self-doubt verses self-confidence, surprises verses traumas, and chaos verses self-discovery. Upon arrival, and for a considerable period afterwards, a consciousness raising occurs concerning personal and social-cultural changes. Because one's text (identity) is developed in a social-cultural environment, unexpected changes, as well as unexpected constants, in the environment, further de-stabilize the sense of self. However, rather than just suffering a disruption to the self caused by a change in one's cultural setting, the protagonists also experience an unexpected rupture of the self of a temporal, developmental, and behavioral configuration. The prevalent themes during this phase of reentry are unexpected disruption, consciousness raising, and confrontations with the self. Obviously calendar time elapses and social-cultural changes in Canada continue to occur. However, the protagonists remained oblivious to such changes. It is as if when the protagonists left, their emotional and social-cultural configuration of Canada, as well as their place within it, entered a stasis or moratorium. When the protagonists returned, their snapshot image was dated. During reentry, a confrontation of one's context initiates a confrontation of one's text (identity). How different is the context? How can the text be sustained in such an altered context? The protagonists experienced a temporal discontinuity in their narrative. When N returned, he thought his idea of Canada might be a myth. He was twenty-three years old when he left and forty-one when he returned. Canadian accents and speech mannerisms seemed foreign to him. That Canada, in his absence, had become much more multi-cultural was shocking. Such differences reminded him that Canada was not the same as he remembered it. Furthermore, he felt like "a total stranger" because he had no context; "no knowledge of current affairs ... no experience in common with Canadians ... It was like going to sleep for twenty years". He was in his eyes "a man without country". N felt dislocated by time. Similarly, HX's assumptions concerning Canada and his place in it were quickly revised. Not only did he assume that Vancouver of 1993 was the same Vancouver of 1975, with a few extra buildings and people, he expected that he would fitrightback in. He assumed that he, as a highly skilled, returning Canadian, would immediately feel at home and be granted immediate  116  acceptance. However, he was awakened by changes. "Canada has changed a lot... I think more than people here realize ... its gone through huge changes". That he is perceived in Canada as foreign is a bore. "I've had to thrown out any notion that I'm a returning Canadian and start from scratch ... I am totally foreign ... coming to a new country that in its present form didn't exist twenty years ago". In a sense, HX and N were awakened by the feeling of being dislodged from their established lives while overseas. To a degree, HX and N had had an opportunity to deal with the threat to their selves in an environment that still offered some supports. Each viewed a return to Canada with optimism, with a sense that they could re-establish their position and direction in life. D, on the other hand, was just beginning to awaken to changes that occurred while he was in Bangladesh. He gradually realized that he had returned to a "totally different lifestyle". In effect, the loss of the protective cocoon of employment was a stunning into consciousness that severely threatened D's sense of security. To a certain extent, D's dismissal from work might be like that of any other forty year old Canadian professional who is unexpectedly let go. However, such a comparison would not be entirely accurate. Unlike N and HX, who had been dislodged from their positions in life, D was thrust into a state of incompletion in what was already a period of upheaval. Developmental themes become evident at this stage in the story. Through the lengthy period abroad, each protagonist married, established a firm position in their work, and N and D had children to consider. They had passed their early adulthood in Europe, and had, in effect, attended to the developmental tasks characteristic of that period in a man's life. According to Levinson (1978), this period corresponds to a time that men of the protagonists' generation wish to settle down: "when a man seeks to invest himself in the major components of the [life] structure (work, family, friendships, leisure, community - whatever is most central to him) and to realize his youthful aspirations and goals" (p. 59). When the protagonists returned to Canada, they were in their mid to late thirties, and each had, to varying degrees, the sense that they were starting out all over again. They were no longer  117  young men, their lives had a much greater degree of responsibility. The initial disruption had, for the protagonists, been an 'off time' event. After all, it is young men (like the protagonists when they initially went overseas) who are expected to be scrambling for position and direction in life, not men in their mid thirties. Off time events are not part of the normal developmental pattern of a human life, therefore they are difficult to incorporate into one's personal text. When HX laments that his career should have been going up and up and up, but had instead reached an untenable plateau, he was addressing his unrealized expectation of being settled. Similarly, N experienced S's death as completely unexpected; his settled world became chaotic. D experienced his dismissalfromwork as traumatic. To feel so uprooted was contrary to their expectations. However, the process of reentry acutely exacerbates the already present feelings of disruption to one's personal text with respect to developmental issues. Throughout the process of reentry, HX became more aware of the passages he had gone through by referencing his development with other Canadian males. He feels much more emotionally developed than many Canadian males who he perceives, in general, as having the arrested emotional development of sixteen-year olds. "Of course I'm not the same person who I was when I was sixteen, that is ridiculous. I am totally foreign as an adult in my life, having been on the continent... my life as an adult was entirely created over there". Both N and D also experienced consciousness raising and self-confrontation concerning developmental issues. N: I'm not twenty-three anymore where you are at the beginning of your working life. You know, you look to a career path and develop it and grow forth, and you don't know ... its the unknown factor... how its all new and then you say, I haven't got that many more years.  D felt his age and overseas experience was a "hindrance" in finding a employment: They want a young person coming ... you know that is really sharp and ... they can sort of mold and train ... and then initially pay them pretty cheap wages and then eventually they'll move up in the organization ... yeah, I really didn't fit into their mold.  118  Furthermore, D, like N, became more keenly aware of parental responsibilities during reentry. Consciousness raising and confrontation of self occurs concerning one's behaviors as well. When HX recently worked with a few dozen French men, similar in age to himself, he became aware then that his sensibilities had more in common with them than with Canadians. The changes became very evident when he considered his social contact with Canadians, particularly Canadian males. That his speech, mannerisms, interests, eating habits, and his lack of interest in team sports, seemed so different than that of the average Canadian male that it made him feel detached, and to a degree, alone. After three years of being back in Canada, HX is still constantly mistaken for being a foreigner because his behaviors are unlike those of other Canadians. When D initially returned to Canada he was struck by the climatic and physical differences. However, he too was confronted by the change of his behaviors while abroad. I was out looking for work and I did not know where to begin ... I haven't got too many options here ... I don't seem to fit in ... my experience is not transferable ... I can't spit out hydraulic formulas off the top of my head and spew out reports.  Furthermore, when D's routine of habits is de-stabilize he does not feel "fulfilled". "I needed security ... OK, today I wake up and I have this to do and that to do ... the routine of having a place to go". Without structure, D feels lost. N, on the other hand, was not aware of any major behavioral changes on his part. However, like D, N had fear and self-doubt concerning his ability to operate effectively in a job. I didn't know whether I could be as effective here as I was over there ... I had no base of knowledge anymore and hence it was like a compass that doesn't work ... I has lost my ability to operate as I once knew how in Canada .... All my working life ... to build that many years up I wasn't Canadian in the true sense anymore.  Frequently, the protagonists had difficulty integrating their overseas experience into their lives in Canada. Their personal changes were often unrecognized or, if recognized, were viewed as 'foreign' and not validated by those in the protagonists' network of relations. That people would get bored when N talked about Ireland or England caused him to feel in limbo, to  119  experience a profound sense of hopelessness and despair. Initially, he could not relate to Canadians; he felt a tremendous sense of isolation, loneliness, and doubt. N described his return to Canada as a sort of vacuum in relation to his knowledge of changes in Canada. He had no knowledge of political, social and work related changes. When HX returned to Canada he fully expected to be well received by the film community in Vancouver. Instead he found that people did not recognize the work he had done on live action films in Europe. Furthermore, the breath of his talents still remain unrecognized in North America because here "it is a world of pigeon holes and type casting". Such a reception has left HX feeling creatively stifled and marginalized in an underdeveloped and fragmented artistic community. To come to VancouverfromLondon has been a loss. His dream community in London "is not really working anymore. The whole machine has broken down". The home he sought, the creative community of artists, does not exist in Canada, or anywhere else for that matter. D experienced the changes that had occurred in his absence mostly in the professional realm of his life. He had developed plenty of skills while abroad. However, his talents were either unappreciated, or he could not access opportunity for their use within the Canadian environment. Each protagonist experienced an unwillingness by those in their social network to listen to their cross-cultural experiences. Essentially, a configuration of personal changes (emotional, developmental, professional, behavioral, relational), that the protagonists had undergone were invalidated by the protagonists' network of relations in Canada. In effect, that which sets them apart, their overseas experience, is often dismissed. Furthermore, many stances, or ways of being, the protagonists had been enacting while overseas, were either in flux or could not be immediately enacted upon the return to Canada. When the protagonists were unable to access opportunities in the social-cultural environment to enact the stances or to re-appropriate desired supportive structures, their selves became threatened withfragmentation.According to Elsbree (1982):  120  The most basic quality of human life [is] hope, is the inner strength which emerges unbroken from early familiarity and mutuality and which provides for man (or woman) a sense or a promise of a personal continuum (p. 133). Self-fragmentation becomes exacerbated when protagonists are first, denied opportunity to integrate divergent experiences into a unified whole through the telling their story, and second, when their personal changes are invalidated, or unvalued, by those in their social network. Third, self-fragmentation occurs when the protagonists themselves fail to recognize and take responsibility for their shadowy selves. Denying opportunity to protagonists to tell their story is to deny them opportunities to cultivate hope to ensure a personal continuum as well as a personal uniqueness. After all, "the making and sharing of our stories returns us to ourselves as creatures who this ability to construct and to find some common grounds for hope in that ability" (Elsbree, 1982, p. 134). Such experiences leave the protagonist lighting to assert their distinctiveness amid an atmosphere of personal doubt and / or social indifference. Not only does the search for continuity of narrative become an issue, but the issue of differentiation of narrative is also present. When the protagonist has but themselves, such an undertaking becomes an act of heroic proportions. The experience of cross-cultural reentry poses a challenge: How is one to live a unified life in a context that denies the gains one has made while abroad, and presents barriers to enact desired stances? The absence of developed supportive structures, facing unexpected changes in the social-cultural environment of Canada, and coming to terms with personal changes (developmental, behavioral, and psychological), can be a sweeping assault upon the self. How does one make order from the chaos of personal and social changes. What is one's position and what does the future look like? In effect, the event of cross-cultural reentry prolongs or deepens the state of incompletion or dislodgment for each protagonist. It is as if they have regressed to a more serai stage of life.  Fitt I V : Re-appropriation When the protagonists returned to Canada they had been, or were about to be, dislodged from a secure position. They were engaged in a cyclical process of re-orientation to life in  121  Canada, similar to when they first went abroad. To varying degrees, each protagonists was prepared to deal with the onslaught of the disruptive event of reentry to Canada. Of the three protagonists, HX seemingly had the most tranquil experience of reentry. Canada was calm relative to the apocalyptic situation in London he had just left. Second, HX was able to join the film union in Canada. What had taken five years in London to achieve, took HX one month in Canada. Admittance to the trade union was a major help to HX to reappropriate position and direction in the vibrant film industry of Canada. In fact, the rise of the Canadian film industry was the major draw for HX to return to Canada. Furthermore, although his talents as a director of live film were not recognized, he found, to his amazement, that his reputation as an animator preceded him. Such recognition provide him a foothold in the North American film industry and a path to sustain his narrative of becoming a director of live film. In effect, HX's solution to dislodgment from his position in London was to find a more favorable environment: Canada. That HX had begun come to terms with the dismantlement of his life while in England meant that he was more psychologically liberated than either N or D to pursue a life in Canada. However, HX has been unwilling, or unable, to encompass and transcend the short comings of what he perceives as an "instant culture". Certain aspects of his life remain undernourished in the Canadian cultural fabric. In effect HX has found it difficult to live a unified life in Canada. For instance, the value that he places on same sex friendships, his level of emotional development, his acceptance of others sexual orientation of ethnicity, his quest for life experience rather than secured monotony, the self-deception and smugness of Canadians, as well as the 'isms' he experiences daily creates an ambivalence in HX to foster a sense of respect for Canadian society. Such a perception of Canada has contributed to HX's ascription of very little value in belonging to such a social-cultural make up. HX has returned to the country of his youth, a culture in which he had been somewhat dislocated as an artist, and has maintained a position of detachment. In effect, HX has sought to nourish that which is not fed in Canada by maintaining linkages to Europe through friendships and professional contacts. However, HX continues to endure the short comings of Canadian society, because it is here that he has the best chance to continue his narrative.  122  When N returned to Canada, he, like HX, was concerned to re-appropriate the meaningful structures and stances in his life. However, N had a more difficult transition back to Canada than HX. Initially upon return, N felt disoriented: "walking around like a zombie for six months". He felt a tremendous sense of isolation, loneliness, loss, panic, and hopelessness. He questioned himself as to whether he had given up his friends, business, his son's identity as an Irishman, all for a "pipe dream". In many ways N was ambivalently attached to both Ireland and Canada. "I had fought that struggle for years over there". When he returned to Canada his struggle was that his "heart was not in it to be here". For N to heal the division within himself, to live a more unified and fulfilled life, meant that he had to face to unfinished business form Ireland and from his youth in Canada. In effect, the return to Canada heightened N's sense of disruption to the point that N could no longer avoid unsettling feelings. The grief he had shelved came forth, especially when he was alone. N had no where to escape. Furthermore, the return brought forth the re-emergence of his fears about 'making it' in Canada. "I think it goes back to the police force twenty years before. I never really recovered from that in Canada". N admits that, in part, he kept busy to avoid his feelings in order to keep the panic at bay. N describes the period of soul searching self-reflection as "bumpily" coming to terms with the loss of S, the departure from a way of life in Ireland, and his fears concerning his ability to succeed in Canada. For N, the longer process of returning to Canada has been an endurance of the upheaval rather than escape. In this process he has gained composition and inspiration for reorientation to life in Canada. That N was able to return to the family fold and to receive their support was instrumental to his return. This sense of welcoming provided him with motivation and a platform to become settled in Canada^ Furthermore, N successfully re-appropriated employment that was both challenging and enjoyable. One of N's chief concerns was the adjustment to Canada of his son. That P struggled at first was difficult for N to experience. However, the fact that P has been able to excel at school, develop interests here and become settled in Canada has unburdened N a great deal.  123  Such a period has given N the "ability to focus on coming alive again", to return to the path "that should have been", to develop a "sense of place" and to finally feel his "heart is over here". His struggle has disappeared. For N, the difficult period of self-assessment was the real point of reentry. It has allowed him to re-appropriate his own "soul light" and to re-capture a sense of unity, autonomy, aliveness, and belonging in Canada. Effectively, N began to wrestle with his shadow of fears. It has also allowed him to feel a fondness for Ireland. N feels very optimistic about his future in Canada. It is only now, after nearly fours of living in Canada, that N has begun to let go of his personal image of being an immigrant, and instead, accept himself as Canadian. In many ways, D has also sought to come to terms with the disruption in his life stemming from his cross-cultural experience. Since his return to Canada, D has experienced a sequence of stops and starts in his attempt to clarify position and direction in his life. The re-establishment of a stable platform in Canada has been his quest. At first, D considered the return to school as an avenue to explore. However, when he was unable to secure employment he was again returned to a position of conflict. He considered another return to school, however, he had become concerned that even with further training, he would again be facing an up hill incline to find employment. When, XYZ offered a position, D accepted. For two years D has been able to lead an enjoyable and stable life. However, it has only provided temporary refugefromthe feelings associated with directionalessness. It is only now that D has really begun to grapple with the issues of incompletion, because he is now faced with a major division between his work and his family. D has found it hard to let go of satisfactionsfromhis life in Bangladesh. Furthermore, the new found security of the lucrative overseas position is a strong pull on D to return to Bangladesh. Throughout the last year, D's challenge has been to harmonize his stance as an engineer, which provides financial security, but entails that he returns to Bangladesh, with his stance as a father and husband, that entails that he be physically and emotionally present with his family who, for numerous reasons, must remain in Canada. At present D feels very conflicted.  124  The period of reentry is contextually grounded in the previous events that created division in the protagonists' lives. HX's main concern was to sustain his mission, to become an established artist in live film. N struggled to come to terms with grief and fear of the unknown, to become fully alive. Having come to terms with unfinished business, his wanderings have taken him on a spiritual quest. D continues his struggled to harmonize the various stances in his life that have been disrupted during his cross-cultural odyssey. The period of reentry to Canada has, in effect, caused a deepening of one's sense of dislodgment or incompletion, as well as a deepening of one's self-reflections. Illusions concerning Canada, their selves, and their place within Canada have been examined by the protagonists in their process of re-orientation to, and re-appropriation of, a life course in Canada. In the period since their return, each protagonist has struggled to sustain a personal narrative in Canada. HX feels somewhat ambivalent concerning Canada and Canadians. He is aware of the division in his life, but is satisfied, for the time being, with the position and direction he has re-appropriated in Canada. N on the other hand has developed a more favorable impression of Canada. N has begun to accept himself as a Canadian, not an immigrant, and is optimistic to lead a fulfilled life in Canada. D has attempted to reorient his life in Canada, but instead has decided that in order for him to make his life here, he must first return overseas. For D, the next few years will most likely be characterized by division in his life between his family and his work, and by division between Bangladesh and Canada. The experience of cross-cultural reentry can be a traumatic event. However, to the extent that protagonists are aware of the social-cultural, developmental, and psychological pressures that impact them, the protagonists can more actively guide the direction of their own stories. To the extent that they remain unaware of such pressures, they remain passive characters as the events of their lives unfold. Those who honestly struggle to understand the personal meaning of reentry, are rewarded with self-insight. In effect, the gift of reentry, if it can be called that, is the reminder to the protagonists of the gaps, disequilibriums, and desires between their current life and their ideal. During periods of upheaval one's shadows become revealed. As such, the experience of reentry can provide each protagonists with a configuration of motivations and  125  challenges, and an opportunity to build foundations, tempered by self-reflection, for their striving to re-appropriate position and movement towards fulfillment. With increased self awareness, decisions that are manifest in the outward world of actions become more resolute because they are tempered with emotional clarity.  Narrative Structure What is common to the three stories, from the preamble to the trajected conclusion of reentry, is the narrative structure of an adventurous quest. In the beginning, the protagonists' quest is to define a life position (N) or they attempt to consummate, or actualize, a life position (HX, D). Similarly, when the protagonists return to Canada, their quest is to re-appropriate position and direction in their lives. One narrative structure common to the three texts is that of the tetradic seasons of life. Fitt I can be likened to the summer of the protagonists lives. It was a productive period of freedom. Fitt II, can be liken to the fall, where the protagonists expected to harvest the fruits of their labors. The first part of Fitt III, Disruption, represents an unseasonable storm that heralds the coming of winter. The protagonists, unprepared for disruption, are blown off-course. The second part of Fitt III, Reentry: A stunning into consciousness, represents the arrival of and endurance of an extremely cold winter. These are periods of inward journeying, of coming to terms with the rupture of one's text. Fitt IV, is representative of the spring. Finding renewed energy through a process of responsibility-taking, the protagonists begin to take action to cultivate the new buds in their lives; buds that represents the striving to re-appropriate a new home as well as the continuation of the quest for a fulfillment. The two main parts of the story, cross-cultural entry and the period overseas, and the crosscultural reentry and the period of return, are dramaturgical units within the larger story. However, rather than view these parts as distinct units of research, as has been done in most formal studies of the cross-cultural experience, it is more useful to discuss the structure of narrative of the overall cross-cultural story. Indeed, co-researchers could not discuss reentry  126  with out first discussing entry; the end of cross-cultural reentry is contextually referenced to cross-cultural entry. The overall story itself is both linear and cyclical: the protagonists' stories progress linearly through time, yet they end where they began, facing similar issues. However, they are changed as is the social-cultural environment to which they return. According to Sadowski (1996), the spiral is the mathematical integration of the line and the circle. This symbol describes the quest cycle. Furthermore, in Celtic mythology, as well as in the mythology of many First Nations Peoples of North America, the spiral, represented by the snake, is a sacred symbol. It is the union of the earth mother and sky father, of the underworld with the visible world, and it is indicative of the path of personhood and rebirth. In the case of the cross-cultural quest for personhood the themes of: (a) separation and attachment between cultures, (b), the outward verses the inward journey, (c) action verses selfreflection / spectatorship, and (d), the reconcilliation of these divergent themes in one's orientation to life. In the cross cultural adventure the protagonists are traveling physically, but also emotionally and culturally, towards or away from their homelands or their homes overseas. While they may be in one culture, they may in a process of emotional attachment or detachment to the other culture. For example, the preamble of the cross-cultural journey corresponds to the rattling of the rattlesanke tail; one becomes alerted to the gaps and desires in one's life. One progresses away from one's home culture and towards the host culture in the preamble and throughout Fitt I. In Fitt II, one further progresses towards the host culture to build one's home. In Fitt III-A, the disruptive event causes the initiation of a more inward journey of self-reflection, and psychological movement towards the home culture. At cross-cultural entry, the protagonists initially move towards the home culture, but because of the nature of the social, cultural, and historical changes, as well as assalts upon the self, the protagonists reconsider the nature of their lives overseas. Unfinished business from overseas life resurfaces. In Fitt IV, the protagonists wrestle with their demons, shadows, as well as begin to further articulate the gaps in their lives, as well as, a way to re-appropriate a future position.  127  Furthermore, each Fitt is characterized by an interplay of action taking verses selfreflection, the two main narrative structures of an adventure. In the preamble, the protagonists consider some internal division with regards to the possibilities of life: an initial period of selfreflection. Fitts I and II emphasize action taking, Fitt III emphasizes soul searching selfreflection and spectatorship of one's life, and Fitt IV emphasizes action taking that is tempered by self-reflection. Having followed the path of the snake, one may reach the head and become snake bit. However, this not a bad thing. In fact it represents the reconciliation of one's inner desires with one's outer possibilities for position and direction in life. In Celtic mythology, the snake is often depicted with an egg in its mouth: a fertility symbol of creation. At this point one has the potential to make decisions based on personal wisdom of human nature: one experiences a rebirth of how to live an authenic life (see figure #2).  128  Figure #2: Time Flow in the Quest Cycle: The Sacred Snake  Canada  Fitt I  Fitt III-A Overseas  Adapted from Sadowski (1996).  Summary The cross-cultural journey is marked by two kinds of time. The first is the ceaseless elapse of calendar time measured by days, months and years. The second is psychological time, which expands to reflect the individually perceived density and intensity of periods of instability. In the rendering of the stories, periods of psychological time receive the greatest attention. In effect, psychological time expands during the cross-cultural journey when the protagonist experience fateful moments.  129  According to Giddens (1991), fateful moments are times when events converge in a manner to threaten an individual's sense of ontological security. The business as usual attitude that is so important to their protective cocoon is inevitably broken through and the individual stands, as at a cross roads in his or her existence. Such moments are both consequential and problematic not only because they require decisions that present high risk consequences for the individual, but also because the course of action has a quality of irreversibility. During fateful moments or learning of information with fateful consequences, the individual is "called upon to question routinized habits of relevant kinds, even those sometimes most closely integrated with self-identity" (p. 131). The structure of the cross-cultural narrative forces fateful decisions concerning one's position and direction in life. Fateful moments, which initiate a period of instability in the protagonists' lives, may be caused by unexpected external factors, such as stock market crash, loss of employment, a disabling injury, betrayal, and death of a loved one. Periods of instability can also arise because of the decisions one makes, such as crossing cultural boundaries. Such events initiate a disruption in one's personal text and casts one into a cycle of re-orientation to life. Why does the experience of reentry pose questions of position and direction so forcefully? Perhaps it is because an unexpected change in one's context (cultural environment) initiates an evaluation of one's text. The very nature of the cross-cultural reentry deepens the cycle of reorientation because of the sweeping assaults on the self and the transitional opportunity to become a spectator on one's life. It is a period of assessment by the protagonist of the culture, and of the individual by those in their framework of relations. Furthermore, the individual may lack a framework of supportive structures, or are in the process of evaluating the existing structures, even those most fundamental to the society and to themselves. As well, the protagonist may feel disorientated because the stances each has been enacting are not immediately possible; the protagonist may even be disdainful of the new environment. However, the period of reentry may also pose questions of position and direction forcefully because of the adventurous nature of a cross-cultural journey. In the modem world, we consider  130  adventures to be outward in to the world of actions. The period of return is also a period of outward actions, to be sure. After all, a central theme of the reentry period is action taking to reappropriate a life path. However, the period of reentry is more. Just when the adventure is expected to cease, because the outward actions of leave taking and returning have been accomplished, it takes an unexpected turn inward. Paradoxically, to go outward into the world of actions cause one, at some point, to go inward to the world of emotions to confront personal demons and gods. The period of entry is the outward adventure; the period of reentry is the inward adventure. It is characterized by consciousness raising, self-confrontation, as well as, themes of selfcontinuity, self-differentiation, self-fragmentation, and responsibility-taking. These themes and their accompanying emotions are central to the period of reentry and are not easily evaded. In a very real sense the protagonists do not return home. The reconciliation of the inner chaos of attachments, satisfactions and resentments with their outer possibilities, continues the adventure. In an attempt to come to terms with their experiences to re-orient their lives in Canada, the protagonists return with stories of their adventures. However their personal stories are often dismissed, and their re-orientation process becomes a somewhat solitary and personal act. Issues of position and direction concerning one's life come to the fore, particularly if these questions have not been addressed in depth during the previous events. During the phase of reentry, one's assumptions are examined, possibly shattered, and one's myths of Canada are revised. What is at stake is one's sense of home. In effect, the personal (temporal, developmental, behavioral, psychological) and social-cultural changes (cultural, historical), demolish one's illusions concerning a return to home. According to Elsbree (1982):  Home: it is a metaphysical principle and an ontological condition embodied in place: the location which affirms who I am, projects what I may be, and vindicates whatever I have had to do to get there (p. 39).  How does one live without the illusion of home? In other words, the ontological security of the self is potentially under siege during the phase of reentry. To paraphrase the author Paul Bowles,  131  one faces the heavens and questions whether there is only blackness, or whether there a sense of the ever connected cosmos, behind the sheltering sky? Such themes illustrate that one cannot return to what was, but that one can create what can be, or transcend what was. However, has it always been misguided to think that one can truly return home? After all, Odysseus' journey did not stop at Ithica and Sir Gawain could not reconcile his changes with a dissenting Camelot. At best, the process of reentry offers hope to survivors of such personal and cultural chaos to continue their stories, to be able to find a place, both in the world of action and in the world of emotions, where one can endorse one's future direction. In the modern world we seem overly concerned with action or overly concerned with contemplation. Consider that many of our popular entertainments are only episodic and adventurous actions. On the other hand, many novels and philosophical positions of the twentieth century focus only on the inward complication of the adventure. In the modern world men and women "interrogate their experience in order to develop an interior geography" (Zweig, 1974, p. 246). The self has become the only locus for essential moments. In the late twentieth century we are more tentative about endings, the final destination, not simply because of the massive upheavals of the last one hundred years or because of the dissolution of virtually all teleologies, but because we have been taught how complex and ambiguous the self can be, and how lonely the journey of choice can be (Elsbree, 1982, p. 47).  We have misplaced "older, more humble conventions that taught men to interrogate their experience in order to learn the nature of the world which impinged upon them in the form of events and situations" (Zweig, 1974, p. 246). We have become so disconnected from myth and story telling that we find it difficult to reconcile the outer with the inner journey. However, as Elsbree (1982) relates: "The tentativeness of survivors, the specificity of serious planners, the wit and tenderness of the recently vulnerable - these may inform the spirit of new quests, and take us beyond the loneliness of the self (p. 50).  132  Perhaps we are called on to become shaman-like: to master the experience of personal insecurity by organizing its chaotic absences form the visible world. Such absences include, adventures between cultures, adventures within ourselves, and the facing of personal gods and demons. After all, it is the shaman who possesses the skill of safe returns, the skill of story telling.  133  CHAPTER VI  Discussion  The comparative analysis of the three accounts of the repatriated Canadians revealed common themes of meaning and narrative structure. The overall cross-cultural experience appears to be best described by the narrative structure of an adventure-quest. Each protagonists embarks on an adventure to either find, or actualize, a life position and direction towards fulfillment in their lives. The adventure-quest is divided into four phases. The first phase, Fitt I, corresponds to the leave takingfromCanada, and entry into the overseas environment. Themes present during this phase are, separationfromCanada, attachment, commitment to overseas life, and unfinished business. The second phase, Fitt II: 'Consecrating a Home', corresponds to a period of striving towards personhood, where one attempts to build a framework of supports and to harmonize the various stances one desires to enact. Themes highlighted during this stage are: settling down, building aframeworkof supports, purposeful striving to enact desired stances, and overcoming challenges of overseas life. Fitt III-A: 'Disruption' is a period of initial trauma. The protagonists' lives are blown off course by external events. They are forced to make a fateful decision to return to Canada. The phase highlights the following themes: disruption and / or incompletion, the commencement of re-orientation to life, conflicted separationfromoverseas life, and the initiation of self-reflection. Fitt III-B, 'Reentry: A Stunning into Consciousness', represent an unexpected and further disruption to the protagonists' lives. The change in the cultural context initiates a rupture in the protagonists personal text. They experience and unexpected awakening in their lives with regards to personal changes (behavioral, developmental, professional, temporal, psychological) and changes of the Canadian social-cultural context (historical, cultural, social). Assaults on the self are the prevalent themes during this phase of the story. The protagonists encounter barriers to reconcile their experiences with their expectations to fashion a viable continuation of their life  134  story. Their stories are often dismissed and they labor in isolation to come to terms with the sweeping personal and cultural changes. It is in this phase of the adventure quest that the protagonists enter into the inward / emotional part of the cross-cultural adventure. Themes that arise during this phase are: selfconfrontation, self-continuity, self-differentiation, self-fragmentation and the attempted resolution of unfinished business. In effect, the period of reentry cast the protagonists into a heightened sense of disruption or incompletion from which they cannot easily escape. The transition from Fitt III-B to Fitt IV is marked by increased willingness for selfconfrontation and increased responsibility-taking. The cycle of re-orientation to life, initiated in Fitt III-A 'Disruption', is resumed. The protagonists gain composition and inspiration to reappropriate harmony among the various stances that each desires to enact. For some this may mean that they reside in Canada, for others, this may mean that they will return overseas. The journey outward of action taking to re-appropriate a life path, tempered by the inward journey of self-confrontation, continues to unfold.  Study Limitations and Future Research Implications This study on cross-cultural reentry has several limitations common to case study approaches. First, although business repatriates, and repatriates in general, who read the rendered accounts and the comparative analysis may identify with the protagonists, results are not generalizable to any specific population of repatriates. The results are only generalizable to interpretive descriptions of the experience of the cross-cultural adventure-quest. Second, although each co-researcher was very articulate and expressed a high degree of openness, there may be experiences each may have chosen to keep private. Third, the limits on the researcher's own ability to bracket personal experience, may have skewed the interpretation and analysis of the stories as told. That is, the bias and ability of the researcher to conduct the interview and interpret the data, impacts therichnessof the study. This study also shares limitations common to case study approaches, and to other studies of the experience of cross-cultural reentry. First, a higher number of participants may have made  135  the findings more robust. Second, the although a serious attempt was made to select coresearchers who met the selection criteria, the study may have been improved by an even more rigorous co-researcher selection criteria. That co-researchers left Canada during different periods in their personal development, resided in different countries for different durations, had no knowledge of a definite return date, and had, through their travels back to Canada, previews of their eventual return, may have some bearing on the results. For example, each co-researcher in this study did not have knowledge of the length of duration of their overseas adventure. Both HX and N anticipated that they would live much of the rest of their lives abroad. However, this may not be the case for many cross-cultural adventurers. For example, many business persons are not only aware that they will return to Canada, but they may also know the duration of the overseas assignment. Such knowledge provides the adventurer with more certainty and opportunity to formulate definite plans to minimize the impacts reentry in their lives than those who are uncertain concerning a return to Canada. Thus the reentry process for those who have a definite time table for repatriation may be different than those who did not expect to return. Furthermore, to use Linda Anderson's critique, this study can be accused of being 'hermetic' in that only one subject group, loosely defined as men of business, was studied. This study may could be improved by selecting repatriatesfromdifferent walks of life. That is, does the nurse, church worker, volunteer, government official, student and soldier have similar experiences of cross-cultural reentry. Would each place as much emphasis on re-appropriating an occupation as business persons seem to do? For example, at cross-cultural reentry, do younger students focus on identity issues, and do nurses, volunteers and church workers, give more attention to existential questions? How do soldiers reconcile their outward adventures with their inward and emotional adventure when issues of personal responsibility verses duty remain unclear? Furthermore, although an attempt was made to include the experience of women, this study, like others before it ,can not provide insight as to whether women's experience of crosscultural reentry is significantly different that which males experience. For example, are there  136  differences in self-refelcetion verses outward action taking in the different Fitts of the quest cycle? A further limitation of this study is that narrative accounts focus mainly on the crosscultural adventure, while the preceding life experience was only partially developed. However, it is evident from the accounts that personal orientations, developed through earlier experiences, have a much greater impact on the cross-cultural journeys than has been explored here. For example, life themes, such as detachment from others, fusion with the environment, escape from overwhelming emotion, and the search for security, impact the experience of cross-cultural reentry and have unexplored ties to the co-researcher's earlier experiences. Such limitations of this study suggest opportunities for future research. Women repatriates, as well as repatriates from the different domains of experience (i.e.: business, nursing, volunteers, soldiers, students, etc.) may inform of hitherto unknown interpretations of the cross-cultural experience. Although, this study employs story, it is should not be confused as a pure longitudinal study of reentry. The phases of reentry, Fitt III-B and Fitt IV, could be more precisely tracked with a longitudinal study of repatriates. Furthermore, the linkages between the cross-cultural adventure and the protagonists' life history could be further investigated with a study that places greater emphasis on the earlier chapters of the life histories. For example, how do early experiences of adventure as well as separation, attachment, and individuation impact these same issues that arise during cross-cultural transitions?  Implications for Theory This study focused on the narrative text of cross-cultural adventurers. The experience of cross-cultural reentry has much in common with other major life events, such as birth, adolescence, marriage, procreation, divorce, death - which often tear apart meaning-giving life narratives. As such, counseling theories that help clients recover meaning after such experiences may also aid cross-cultural counselors to help repatriates re-appropriate meaning within their lives. However, the main focus of this section is contribute to the cross-cultural research by confirming, questioning, and extending current models of cross-cultural adjustment.  137  This study tends to disconfirm most aspects of equilibrium models of cross-cultural adjustment. The experience of cross-cultural reentry seems to be mediated by the protagonists desire to regain a meaningful life position and direction towards fulfillment. In this study reentry has not been seen as simply a mechanically learned response to changes in the cultural environment. This study tends to confirm the certain aspects of the Gullahorn's recuperative model of cross-cultural reentry, while discontinuing others. For example, N's description of cross-cultural reentry loosely follows the trajected course of reentry proposed by the Gullahorns. However, the model does not seem to describe the experience for HX, who was able to almost immediately master the ability to function effectively in Canada, but who seems to still endure the second stage: disillusionment and frustration within Canada. Similarly, D did not progress sequentially through the stages. In effect, his experience of reentry has been a cycle of stops and starts that has ended in disillusionment and frustration within Canada. The findings of this study also tend to confirm issues of continuity of identity first raised by Kalvero Oberg, and extended by Peter Adler and R. S. Zaharna. Each protagonist made efforts to re-appropriate a firm and stable sense of continuity in their personal texts. In fact, out of awareness behavior changes tended to confirm that Zaharna's Self-Shock theory. However, not mentioned by either Oberg, Adler, nor Zaharna, is the sense of identity differentiation desired by the co-researchers. In fact, each co-researcher endured a dismissive attitude by others in their social cultural network of their personal changes owing to the cross-cultural experience. Selfdifferentiation is a theme that has not been specifically raised in previous studies of crosscultural reentry. This study tends to confirm aspects of Ishiyama's model of Cross-Cultural Conflict. In effect, the co-researchers experienced cultural dislocation upon reentry to Canada, and the various self-validation themes were evident. Furthermore, the co-researchers' adjustment appears to fit with Ishiyama's model in that each continues to negotiate their own sense of cultural attachment to this Canada.  138  Such a finding suggests that the specific temporal order as development towards bi-cultural integration and validation of the ethnic self as proposed in the Minority Identity Development model of Atkinson, Morten and Sue (1979), does not hold true all the co-researchers. For example, HX has chosen not to assimilate or accommodate Canadian culture into his life. In effect he has compartmentalized his cultural conflicts with life in Canada from his life mission to become a director of live film. Such a finding supports the cross-cultural adjustment model as proposed by Anderson (1994), in that success of the cross-cultural adaptation is relative to the individual. In fact, the features of Anderson's model tend to be confirmed by this study. However, the main finding of this research has to do with the linkages of the experiences of cross-cultural entry and reentry within the wider context of the individual's life story. It seems that many of the cross-cultural models adjustment fail to adequately deal with the personal context of meanings that facilitate the adjustment of individuals to different cultures. Furthermore, many adjustment theories focus on equipping the client with skills, attitudes, and behaviors to deal effectively with the challenges that adjusting to a new culture entails. To be sure, such attributes aid the protagonist in their outward actions to re-appropriate a sense of fulfillment in the change culture. However, few theories address how adjustments to different cultures are personally meaningful for the client. If culture can be described as a system of meaning making by individuals and collectively by society (Ishiyama, 1996, personal communication), it stands to reason that when one's personal culture, or what Ishiyama calls psychoculture, cannot exist in a state of harmony with the larger socially defined construct of culture, then the individual will experience cultural conflict. Such a proposition suggests that theories of cross-cultural theories of adjustment may be extended by identifying where one's personal psychoculture is in a state of disharmony with the wider socially constructed concept of culture. Furthermore, most models of cross-cultural adjustment focus greatly on the impacts of setting, or place, or cultural environment without giving enough focus to the individual's temporal process of adjustment, as well as the developmental changes that have occurred to the individual. The repatriate is in a situation where their text is disrupted by a change in the cultural  139  context, but their text also suffers a temporal rupture owing to unexpected realization of personal and social changes. Continuity of narrative and differentiation of narrative have been shown to have great impact on the adjustment process of individuals. Collectively, these themes could be addressed in models of cross-cultural adaptation. Figure #3 offers a potential model of the self that not only incorporates social-cultural attributes of the self, but also developmental and temporal impacts on the selffromlife. In this model, the narrative self is an ever expanding sphere that unifies one's entire context, whether it be cultural, developmental, or temporal.  Figure #3: Temporal, Developmental, and Cultural Context of One's Identity or Personal Narrative  Developmental Context  Self Narrative  Time  Cultural Context  Another point raised by this research is that we do have many blueprints to aid repatriates in their cross-cultural adjustment. Fictional stories of cross-cultural adaptation, authored in ancient times and in the present, offer us guidance in the reentry process. By understanding the  140  stories of others, we may see ourselves, and we may see pathways through the chaos of life transitions, particularly through that of cross-cultural reentry.  Implications for Counseling The implications for counseling are not only in the extension and revision of models of cross-cultural adjustment but also in the career development focus. Specifically, career counseling (in the broad sense of the term) of those who choose to live and work overseas may help them better manage both cross-cultural transitions. That which helps the repatriate integrate their experiences into a unified story provides insurance to minimize ruptures in one's personal text at cross-cultural transitions Access to one's cross-cultural story may occur through story telling and journal keeping, but it can be accessed in different ways that suit individual clients. Creative endeavors, such as painting, music, sculpture, and dance, as well as dream interpretation, shamanic journeying, and meditation, among others, tap not only our cognitive self, but also the subconscious, emotional, creative, spiritual and physical self. In such ways we can tap hitherto unknown dimensions of the self to bring all aspects of the self to light. A well rounded and inclusive story eventually returns us to ourselves. One vital aspect of the cross-cultural journey that protagonists may find very helpful is to periodically become spectators in their lives to question whether they are on track or off track in their lives: can they endorse their future? By providing the opportunity to become a spectators of their lives, counselors can help protagonists clarify the gaps, desires, and motivations in the protagonists lives and how the protagonist's cross-cultural adventure might address these issues. Such a period could be utilized by protagonists to question their expectations concerning how the cross-cultural adventure may fit with the long term goals, how it may weave into the tapestry of their life. It may be helpful to protagonists if they periodically revisit and revise their goals, Furthermore, it is during the period prior to going abroad that unfinished business may be dealt with so that protagonists feel more psychologically free to pursue their overseas goals. That is, counseling may prepare the protagonists to deal with issues of separationfromCanada as well as attachment and commitment to overseas life.  141  Having a clear initial separationfromCanada could be facilitated through rituals. Family dinners, celebrations with friends, or a bon voyage party for a co-worker are rituals that promote the sense of goodwill for a clear leave taking. Second, insuring friends, family, and co-workers know what to expect in terms of contact may further clear any unspoken expectations that can lead to misunderstandings and resentment. Furthermore, by educating the significant people in the repatriates' social support network about the potential impacts of reentry, the repatriate may experience more understanding and compassion in their struggles to return home. Personal responsibility-taking and fostering a sense of personal agency is another area that could be developed. By raising the awareness of the protagonists to the challenges they may face when they return to Canada, they may be able to become pro-active concerning their return. Not only could they leave buried treasure, such as good work relations, money, secure investments, and goodwill among cherished friends, prior to going abroad, they may also forge linkages between their lives overseas and their lives in Canada. Keeping in touch with change in Canada, whether social, cultural, political, professional, familial, or relational may reduce the sense of disruption in the protagonists life at reentry. Furthermore, the adventurer may keep a journal of experiences and thoughts, especially during fateful moments or period of stress. Such a journal can enrich one's story upon reentry and lead to a more detailed understanding of personal desires and conflicts that informs one's 'personal good'. For those suffering through a particular chaotic period of return, counseling may assist the protagonist on their inward journey to make meaning of their experiences. Once again counseling could help protagonists identify the gaps and desires in their lives, and assist them in gaining composition, inspiration, and a sense of mastery in their quest to re-appropriate position direction in their lives. Counseling can aid protagonists' desires to reformulate life goals, find alternative pathways to harmonize the various stances in their lives, or to come to terms unfinished conflicts as well as satisfactions of living abroad. Furthermore, talking with a counselor can foster a sense of hope, belonging, and well being that the sometimes isolated repatriate does not experience. Group counseling with a variety of repatriates who are in various stages of re-orientation to life in Canada, may normalize the  142  feelings of being under siege that may be experienced. Furthermore, the group itself can be a great resource; adventurers can share their stories and through the sharing find pathways out of chaos that sometimes accompanies the experience of reentry.  Business. Another focus that may be impacted by the results from this study is the area of international business management. This study suggest that there are limitations of the Theory of Work Adjustment to describe the reentry experience of the co-researchers. Although the model does address issues of reentry to work, it is clearly evident that work is but one of the numerous sources of meaning in the co-researchers' lives that is disrupted at cross-cultural reentry. Work adjustment theory does not adequately address adaptations to changes in one's familial, relational, or cultural environment, as well as temporal or developmental changes in the individual. What requires attention is the entire context of personal meanings that repatriates make of their cross-cultural experience; meanings which inform their life decisions. The employment of this theory in the management of the reentry process of repatriates raises another point. That is, that even if a business seeks to minimize the disruption in the repatriate's life, owing to the reentry process, it is the repatriates themselves who are responsible for their own inward journey of emotions. The inward journey of emotions is an area that businesses are in a good position to aid, but an area that they can not easily control or manage. D experienced a very traumatic return to Canada. Part of his stress was due to his dismissalfromthe Canadian branch of XYZ. To insure that D and others like him can remain productive with in the Canadian business context entails that repatriate themselves and the business for which they work, take steps to insure that abilities, skills, and talents can be maintained and even enhanced on the overseas assignment. Theframeworkof repatriation adjustment proposed by Black, Gregersen and Mendenhall (1992) could prove to be a practical model for businesses to manage corporate responsibilities towards repatriates. Firms that operate internationally may wish to implement career guidance as part of pre-departure, pre-reentry, and post reentry cross-cultural training programs. Second, firms may take steps to insure that those who select overseas assignments have life goals that can  143  be realized within a business organization's international and domestic branches. In this way, repatriates may have an assured position awaiting them which may minimize some disruption in the repatriates life. Third, firms may utilize the overseas assignment as an educational experience for the individual; expatriates could develop specific skills that fit with their career development goals and plans, that can be used domestically. For the business community, the cross-cultural education of their employees can, if managed correctly, provide their firms with unique opportunities to train and maintain the services of desirable employees. However, in some cases this may not be possible. In this event, the prospective repatriate could prepare for reentry by making opportunity for themselves, while overseas, to develop abilities, talents, and skills that are in demand in Canada. This could be accomplished by negotiating opportunities for overseas education and retraining with the business firm. Such opportunity may also be provided for by a lucrative severance package upon return to Canada. Finally, the repatriate may use of an Employee Assistance Program, to deal with the experiences of the cross-cultural adventure.  Summary A hermeneutic-phenomenological case study approach was employed to determine the impact of cross-cultural reentry on male, Canadian repatriates' lives. The overall cross-cultural experience can be liken to a four part adventure-quest. The preamble provides the context of inward and outward gaps and desires between the current life one is leading and the life one desires to be leading. The first two parts emphasize the outward actions of the cross-cultural adventure: leave taking and consecrating a home overseas. The third part represents the beginning of the inward and emotional journey of the cross-cultural adventure. During the initial period of cross-cultural reentry, developmental, temporal, behavioral, relational, familial and professional changes in the self, as well as sweeping changes in the social-cultural context, become manifest. These unexpected changes present threats to one's established sense of self. Again, gaps between one's present life and one's desired life become evident. Furthermore, illusions concerning oneself, as well as, the culture to which one has  144  returned, become revealed. For the protagonists, the period of cross- cultural reentry deepens the sense of incompletion in one's life. However, at reentry, the protagonists not only encounter personal and social changes, they encounter obstacles, such as being dismissed or undervalued, in their attempts to integrate their overall cross-cultural experience into their lives in Canada. The final part of the cross-cultural adventure is marked by the soul-searching selfreflection and responsibility-taking for the re-appropriation of a position in life that is oriented towards the attainment of personal fulfillment. The final phase is the integration of outward action taking that is marked by increased self-understanding.  145  References Adler, N. J. (1976). Growthful re-entry theory. Unpublished mimeograph, Graduate School of management, University of California, Los Angeles. Adler, N. J. (1981). Re-entry: Managing cross-cultural transitions. Group and Organization Studies. 6. 341-356. Adler, N. J. (1983). Cross-cultural management research: The ostrich and the trend. Academy of Management Review. 8. 226-232. Adler, P. 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New York: Basic Books Inc.  153  APPENDIX A A N ESSAY ON GREEKS, ASTRONAUTS, AND REPATRIATES It has been remarked that when one enters a different culture, one has the opportunity to learn about one's own culture. Like astronauts, who have a unique view of the earth from space, those who traverse cultural boundaries have unique perspectives of their own cultures. And, upon the return, cross-cultural traversers, and astronauts, know they are different, changed, because they behave, construe, and feel differently; they have experienced a different world view. I recently watched the movie 'Apollo Thirteen'. Now, is not this a story of the absent heroes, of the Odyssean figures of Lovel, Swaggert and Hayes, who overcome the many challenges of the return home? Reentry is a multifaceted phenomenon. Not only did the Astronauts face tangible problems such as, a ruptured oxygen tank, a dwindling supply of power, sickness, cramped quarters, and carbon dioxide poisoning, among others, they also faced many psychological challenges. Imagine the range of emotions those men experienced upon learning that their celestial and life long goal, to set foot on the moon, had been eclipsed by the secular struggle to survive. Grief, shock, and fear come to mind. The struggle of the Astronauts to survive was the struggle to return home. And in that struggle they faced death, figuratively and metaphorically. In fact, can there be a more death like place than the dark side of the moon? And was it not there, in that dark place, where they saw their projected landing spot fade into blackness as a dream fades into consciousness, that the decision to return home was made with purpose, with determination? And did they not, in the next moment, round the moon, to behold the earth and the path home? The Astronauts had many challenges to overcome, and I think it appropriate that their ship of reentry was named The Odyssey. At the close of'Apollo Thirteen', we are left with the images of the welcomed and celebrated heroes. This resonates with our own idealized images of the return home; the sweet homecoming. Repatriates might expect to be exalted, glorified and / or recognized for their victories abroad. After all, many of the western cultural stories and social celebrations have images of the return of the king, the return of the victorious troops, and the return of the glorious victors, such as the Stanley Cup Champions. And if I have so far failed to mention the return of heroines, it is only because I am less familiar with their stories, not that they do not exist. Still, the question remains, are women's stories of reentry different than that of men? 'Apollo Thirteen' is essentially an adventure of return, but it is not the adventure of the repatriate. Let us not confuse this return, or the return of the conquering hero, with that of the repatriate. No, the repatriate's story, although it may contain elements of the victorious and even the ideal, like that of'Apollo Thirteen', is not a story of glory. The repatriate's story is that of Odysseus'; it is a journey of suffering, determination, and endurance. Only when Odysseus, the archetypal hero of suffering and endurance, decides to return home and accept his mortality, does the 'Odyssey' truly begin (Pucci, 1986). We, as a society, bestow accolades not on repatriates, but on the victors; victors are often celebrated. The celebrations are support for the victors contributions as well as the socially sanctioned identities that resonate within us. If fact, these celebrations resonate with the final chapter in epics of glory. We celebrate victors, the vanquished are not celebrated; ask many runners up. And even though we do have stories of repatriation where there is celebration, such as The Prodigal Son, more often than not, the repatriate is not celebrated. Why is this so? Perhaps, we do not celebrate the return home as we once did. It is as if in the western cultures, that we have given the responsibility to celebrate the changes of the repatriate completely to repatriates themselves. This abdication of social responsibility traps the repatriate, because one cannot hold a party for oneself, for one's own recognition, for one's own change, if there is no community with which to celebrate. Our community must do that for us, because however much we wish to be the sole authors of our own identities, our social fabric co-authors our identity. Selves, after all, are both individually and socially defined and co-authored, and we, as individuals, cannot but help to seek personal and social validation of our selves. However, the authors of identity are prone to disagreement, especially when there is a second, or even third, social author. When there is change of the self, the individual may  154  recognize it, but society may not, especially if that change has been occurring in a socially different context. Unfortunately, what may result is the lack of the social support for the change in identity of the repatriate. The path home is one of obstacles to be surmounted, of writing an integrated story where the self author has little or no support, nor empathy, from the social authors (social authors, i.e., societies: do not experience reentry like an individual does). And many times there are no welcome home celebrations, and unlike the Apollo Thirteen Astronauts, who's very breaths were literally recorded, the repatriates of today have no witnesses, no listening ears, and only a few sources of social validation for their heroic attempts to return home as changed people. Instead, the repatriate grapples with personal changes in an unsupported manner; they frequently remain the sole arbitrators of whether personal changes are improvements, and whether gains have been worth the struggle. This is especially true when the struggle goes unrecognized or is misunderstood. Repatriates may grieve loss of their host culture, loss of their image of home, and they also grieve the loss of their own self-image. However, grief and reentry are stories of endurance, and can be concluded with a chapter of re-appropriations: compassion, wisdom, and assuredness. 'Odysseus' return home represents his return to humanity, consciousness, reality, and responsibility, and the episodes of this return constitute facets of those re-appropriations' (Pucci, 1986, p. 13). Reentry is not for the faint hearted, because it is the symbolic confrontation with death. Whether reentry is from heaven, or from hell, one really comes home to oneself, like Odysseus does, to face one's own mortality. In doing so, one comes to - or does not come to terms, with issues of personal and social responsibility, humanity, and loss. The gift of reentry, for those who genuinely struggle with the issues presented by the experience of living in different cultures, is the potential to gain a sense of the virtues of personal honesty, authenticity, hope, will, and purpose. The practice of these virtues can help the individual discern their 'true self from their 'false self; they help foster within the individual the moral courage to chose an authentic life path.  155  APPENDIX B S U M M A R Y OF THE FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE BUSINESS PERSONNEL REENTRY ADJUSTMENT Previous research by Church (1982) and Mendenhall and Oddou (1985) provided the author with a framework of four general categories of factors thought to influence repatriation adjustment: individual, organizational, job-related, and non-work. Individual factors are a function of individual attitudes, values, needs, or characteristics. Examples of individual factors sighted in literature are: personal demographics; time in international assignment; psychological and stress coping patterns; company allegiance pattern; personal expectations; career goals and plans. Organizational factors are related to the organization and its policies and practices regarding overseas assignments. Examples of organizational factors are: company policy and procedures regarding cross-cultural training; policy regarding family cross-cultural training; mentorship programs for repatriates; organizational goals for repatriates; value placed on overseas assignment; selection procedures regarding overseas position; contract obligations to repatriates. Job-related factors are related to the tasks and characteristics of the individuals job. Examples of job related factors are: role clarity; role discretion; role conflict; job tasks; career path; job stress; financial compensation. Non-work factors are traditionally outside the work and organizational domain. Examples of non work variables are: spouse and family adjustment; cultural novelty; social status; interaction with home nationals; housing conditions.  Summary of Studies Concerning Business Repatriates 1) Adler, N.J. (1981). Study Type: Interview/questionnaire. Factors: Individual, Organizational, Job, Non-work (Coping Styles). 2) Adler, N. J. (1983). Study Type: Literature Review. 3) Baxter, S. (1991). Study Type: Anecdotal Review. Factors: Non-work (Family Issues). 4) Black, J. S. (1991). Study Type: Anecdotal Review. Factors: Job-related, Organizational. 5) Black, J. S. (1992). Study Type: Questionnaire. Factors: Job-related, Organizational, Individual. 6) Black, J. S., & Gregersen, H. B. (1990). Study Type: Questionnaire. Factors: Individual, Job-related, Organizational, Non Work (Age, Time Abroad). 7) Black, J. S., & Gregersen, H. B.(1992). Study Type: Theoretical Position Paper, Case Study. Factors: Individual (Allegiance Patterns of Expatriates).  156  8) Black, J. S., Gregersen, H. B., & Mendenhall, M. E. (1992). Study Type: Theoretical Position Paper. Factors: Job-related, Individual, Organizational, Non Work: Anticipatory and Home Country Adjustments. 9) Black, J. S., & Mendenhall, M. (1990). Study Type: Literature Review and Theoretical Position Regarding Cross-cultural Training. 10) Black, J. S., & Mendenhall, M. (1991). Study Type: Literature Review of Cross-cultural Reentry Models. 11) Black, J. S., & Stephens, G. K. (1989). Study Type: Questionnaire. Factors: Non Work (Spousal Adjustment). 13) Briody, E. K., & Baba, M. L. (1991). Study Type: In-depth Interviews. Factors: Organizational, Individual. 14) Cagney, W. F. (1975). Study Type: Anecdotal. Factors: Job-related, Organizational. 15) Carter, N. J. (1989). Study Type: Review. Factors: Individual, Organizational. 16) Ettorre,B. (1993). Study Type: Anecdotal. 17) Feldman, D. C. (1991). Study Type: Theoretical Position Paper. Factors: Organizational (Environmental; Organizational Career Planning), Individual (Career Planning; Coping Styles), Job-related, Non work. 18) Feldman, D. C , & Thomas, D. C. (1992). Study Type: Questionnaire. Factors: Organizational (Career Planning); Individual (Career Planning). 19) Feldman, D. C , & Tompson, H. B. (1993). Study Type: Questionnaire. Factors: Individual (Coping strategies), Job-related, Organizational. 20) Harris, J. E. (1989). Study Type: Anecdotal. Factors: Job-related, Organizational. 21) Harvey, M. G. (1989). Study Type: Questionnaire. Factors: Individual (Career Planning; Psychological Stress), organizational (Career Planning), Job-related, Non Work (Family Stress).  157  22) Howard, C. G. (1980). Study Type: Anecdotal. Factors: Individual, Organizational, Job-related, Non Work (Family issues). 23) Howard, C. G. (1986). Study Type: Review. Factors: Organizational, Individual, Job-related. 24) Kendall, D. W. (1981). Study Type: Anecdotal. Factors: Organizational, Job-related, Individual. 25) Kobrin, S.J. (1988). Study Type: Review, Position Paper. Factors: Organizational (Rationale for need of expatriate/repatriate business personnel). 26) Martin, J. (1984). Study: Review, Theoretical Framework. Factors: Individual (Self-Identity), Non Work (Person-Environment Fit). 26) Napier, N. K., & Peterson, R. B. (1991). Study Type: Questionnaire. Factors: Organizational (Cross-cultural Training). 27) Richardson, D. B., & Rullo, V. (1992). Study Type: Anecdotal. 28) Shilling, M. (1993). Study Type: Anecdotal. Factors: Organizational, Individual (Family Issues), Job-related. 29) Tom, J.P. (1992). Study Type: Anecdotal. 30) Van Pelt, P., & Wolniansky, N. (1990). Study Type: Anecdotal. Factors: Organizational (Cost of Overseas Assignment). 31) Welds, K. (1991). Study Type: Anecdotal. Factors: Individual (Coping Styles). 32) Werkman, S. L. (1986). Study Type: Literature review, Position Paper. Factors: Individual (Psychological).  158  APPENDIX C L E T T E R OF INITIAL CONTACT Ken Crystal M.A. Candidate Department of Counseling Psychology, University of British Columbia Canadian Business Firm Personnel Director  February, 1996  Dear Personnel Director:  I am a master's student in the Department of Counseling Psychology at U.B.C. For my master's thesis, I am conducting a study which explores how the cross-cultural experience of returning to Canada impacts the lives Canadian business repatriates. Typically, repatriates, who have lived overseas for an extended time, experience unexpected stress upon their return to their home culture. 'Reentry stress' is usually unexpected because repatriates expect to return to a familiar environment, and they are usually unprepared to cope with changes that, upon reentry, become evident in themselves, and in their work, family, and community environments. For the purpose of this study, I am interested in 'reentry'froman individual perspective. It is the goal of this study to investigate and describe the 'meaning' of the reentry experience for business repatriates; that is how does this experience shape repatriates lives. I anticipate the results of this research will suggest ways in which counsellors and personnel directors can facilitate the reentry adjustment process of repatriates. In order to carry out this research, I require three to four volunteers who: 1) are Canadian bom, 2) over the age of 24, 3) have lived overseas for at least one continuous year, 4) have returnedfroman overseas assignment within the last six months, 5) have interest in discussing their life histories, their reentry experiences, and what they foresee in their future, and 6), are able to articulate their experiences clearly in English. I would require approximately 4-6 hours of the participant's time. I will conduct two interviews with each participant. During the first interview, I will be interested in hearing and recording their experiences since they have returned to Canada, and the various 'chapters' in their lives. As well, I will be interested in hearing and recording how the experience of reentry may impact their futures. During the second interview, I will present my interpretations of the transcripts for feedback. Any concerns or disagreements participants' have regarding my interpretations will be heard and the description altered to more accurately reflect the participants' experience. The interviews will be audio-taped for research purposes only and will be kept strictly confidential. At the end of the study, an honorarium of $25.00 will be offered to each participant in order to acknowledge appreciation of their time. The participant will be under no obligation to become involved in this project and has the right to withdraw at any time without prejudice. As well, each participant has the right to request that any section of the tape, or its entirety, be erased if desired. I will contact the participant regarding the final results of the study and will keep the identity of the participant confidential in published and unpublished material.  159  If you know of anyone who might fit the project requirements, I would appreciate it if you could pass on the above information. I can be reached at 224-0475, and would be pleased to answer any questions that you or potential participants might have. As well, you may contact my thesis supervisor, Dr. Marvin Westwood, in the Department of Counseling Psychology, U.B.C., at 822-5259.  Sincerely,  Ken Crystal UBC Counseling Psychology (M.A. Candidate).  160  APPENDIX D CONSENT F O R M Project Title: The Impact of Cross-cultural Reentry on Shaping the Life Histories of Canadian Business Repatriates Description of the Research: This thesis research project will be conducted by me, Kenneth Crystal, a master's student in Counseling Psychology, U.B.C. The purpose of the study will be to hear and document how the experience of cross-cultural reentry has impacted your life. It is anticipated that identification of underlying themes concerning the experience of cross-cultural reentry will lead to a more thorough understanding of the phenomenon. As well, the results of this study will inform counsellors to aid business persons, and others, to better prepare for, and cope with, reentry adjustment. I would like to meet with you on two separate occasions for approximately 3-4 hours in total. I will conduct two interviews, approximately ninety minutes in duration, which will be audio-taped and transcribed. At the beginning of the first interview I will ask that you chose a pseudonym for yourself as a means of ensuring absolute confidentiality. All other identifying information will be deletedfromthe study. During the second interview, you will be presented with the transcripts of the previous session. You will be asked to read this material as well as my summaries of the emerging categories and to comment on the accuracy of these accounts. Any concerns or disagreements you have regarding the material will be recorded and the description altered to more accurately convey your experience. At the end of this study an honorarium of $25.00 will be offered to acknowledge appreciation of your time. All audio tapes will be erased following completion of the research and at no time will any identifying information be made available to anyone other than myself and my research supervisor. At any time during the research, if you indicate that you wish to have counseling, a referral will be provided. You may refuse to participate in the study or withdrawfromthe study at any time without prejudice. These actions will in no way affect participation in other projects. You may also refuse to answer any questions. If you have any questions regarding the study, please feelfreeto contact me at 224-0475, or call my supervisor, Dr. Marvin Westwood, in the Department of Counseling Psychology, U.B.C, at 822-5259.  I, , have read and understood the conditions of the research study and consent to be a participant in the research as outlined above. I understand that I have the right to refuse to participate at any point. I acknowledge receipt of a copy of this consent form. Date Signature Researcher:  Kenneth Crystal Department of Counseling Psychology Faculty of Education, U.B.C. Home Phone: 224-0475  161  APPENDIX E DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE Name Date of Birth Ethnic Background Education Years of Education Relationship status No. and ages of Children Length of Time Overseas Place of Overseas Assignment Rural City Occupation/Nature of Overseas Work Assignment Length of time since return to Canada Nature of preparation, if any, for entry to host culture  Nature of preparation, if any, for reentry to home culture  162  APPENDIX F SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS Initial Interview The following general questions are designed to generate descriptions of the area of interest. Because narrative research is focused on exploring and describing an individual's lived experience, the order of questions may be changed to accommodate each situation and participant.  General Introduction and Questions: For most repatriates, reentry is a very individual and subjective experience; it is a personal story. However, out of personal stories one may identify some themes common to the stories of how reentry has impacted people's lives. I will be asking yourself, and few other participants, about your personal experience of reentry. Now, I would like you to consider your life as a story, and the chapter that I am particularly interested in is the chapter of reentry. However, to place this chapter in the context of your life, I would like you to briefly highlight the major events in your life prior to your work abroad (Use of life line). Prior to going abroad, what were your ambitions, what did you wish to achieve, how did you wish to see your life unfold in the future? I am interested in your thoughts and feelings concerning your story of reentry. Your stories may include, but not be limited to, those of reentry to work, relationships with those around you, your sense of community, and in particular, what was your internal process? That is, how you feel towards yourself, what was your general mood? In keeping with theme as your life as a story I would like you to now concentrate the chapter that are yet to be written: your future. How do you see your future unfolding for you now that you have had this cross-cultural experience? What are your ambitions now? Do you see any links of how these tie to your past, and your experience of returning to Canada? I would like now for you to visualize yourself near the end of your life, and a young business person, who is going to go on an overseas assignment, comes to you and asks: "What happened in your life after you returned to Canada?".  Second Interview: Second sessions will be used to offer the participants a chance to make any revisions or additions to their initial transcript. I will ask them a general opening question such as: "Have you had any further thoughts about what we talked about in our last meeting?" As well, I may ask them to elaborate on points or concepts brought up in the initial interview. I may also provide each participant with their 'storyline', a brief summary taken from her initial transcript and from my notes.  Questions: I would like you to take some time to read over this written transcript from the last time we met, could you please comment on any additions or revisions that you wish to make.  

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