This introductory chapter shows how workers in the global organization Rakuten can be conceived of as expatriates in their own countries. Expatriates (often shortened to “expats”) are people temporarily or permanently residing as immigrants in a country other than that of their citizenship. This chapter repurposes the word “expat” to mean people who are temporarily or permanently detached from their mother tongue or home culture while still operating in their own country. Here, the change to a lingua franca is the catalyst for all employees to become an expat of one sort or another in their daily organizational work while still living in their native country. Furthermore, the expat perspective that this chapter conceptualizes rests on the assumption that everyone is at least slightly uncomfortable detaching from a native language or culture.
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