Globalisation – the global movement, and control, of products, capital, technologies, persons and images – increasingly takes place through the work of organisations, perhaps the most powerful of which are multinational corporations. Based in an ethnographic analysis of cross-cultural social interactions in everyday workplace practices at a subsidiary of an elite, Japanese consumer electronics multinational in France, this book intimately examines, and theorises, contemporary global dynamics. Japanese corporate ‘know-how’ is described not simply as the combination of technological innovation riding on financial ‘clout’ but as a reflection of Japanese social relations, powerfully expressed in Japanese organisational dynamics. The book details how Japanese organisational power does and does not adapt in overseas settings: how Japanese managers and engineers negotiate conflicts between their understanding of appropriate practices with those of local, non-Japanese staff – in this case, French managers and engineers – who hold their own distinctive cultural and organisational inclinations in the workplace. The book argues that the insights provided by the intimate study of persons interacting within and across organisations is crucial to a fulsome understanding of globalisation. This is assisted, further, by a grounded examination of how ‘networks’– as social constructions – are both expanded and bounded, a move which assists in collapsing the common reliance on micro and macro levels of analysis in considering global phenomena. The book poses important theoretical and methodological challenges for organisational studies as well as for analysis of the forces of globalisation by anthropologists and other social scientists.
This book examines Japanese tourism and travel, both today and in the past, showing how over hundreds of years a distinct culture of travel developed, and exploring how this has permeated the perceptions and traditions of Japanese society. It considers the diverse dimensions of modern tourism including appropriation and consumption of history, nostalgia, identity, domesticated foreignness, and the search for authenticity and invention of tradition. Japanese people are one of the most widely travelling peoples in the world both historically and in contemporary times. What may be understood as incipient mass tourism started around the 17th century in various forms (including religious pilgrimages) long before it became a prevalent cultural phenomenon in the West. Within Asia, Japan has long remained the main tourist sending society since the beginning of the 20th century when it started colonising Asian countries. In 2005, some 17.8 million Japanese travelled overseas across Europe, Asia, the South Pacific and America. In recent times, however, tourist demands are fast growing in other Asian countries such as Korea and China. Japan is not only consuming other Asian societies and cultures, it is also being consumed by them in tourist contexts. This book considers the patterns of travelling of the Japanese, examining travel inside and outside the Japanese archipelago and how tourist demands inside influence and shape patterns of travel outside the country. Overall, this book draws important insights for understanding the phenomenon of tourism on the one hand and the nature of Japanese society and culture on the other.
Author: Christoph Brumann
Release Date: 2009-12-16
This book examines the making of heritage in contemporary Japan, investigating the ways in which particular objects, practices and institutions are ascribed public recognition and political significance. Through detailed ethnographic and historical case studies, it analyses the social, economic, and even global political dimensions of cultural heritage. It shows how claims to heritage status in Japan stress different material qualities of objects, places and people - based upon their ages, originality and usage. Following on an introduction that thoroughly assesses the field, the ethnographic and historiographic case studies range from geisha; noh masks; and the tea ceremony; urban architecture; automata; a utopian commune and the sites of Mitsubishi company history. They examine how their heritage value is made and re-made, and appraise the construction of heritage in cases where the heritage value resides in the very substance of the object’s material composition - for example, in architecture, landscapes and designs - and show how the heritage industry adds values to existing assets: such as sacredness, urban charm or architectural and ethnic distinctiveness. The book questions the interpretation of material heritage as an enduring expression of social relations, aesthetic values and authenticity which, once conferred, undergoes no subsequent change, and standard dismissals of heritage as merely a tool for enshrining the nation; supporting the powerful; fostering nostalgic escapism; or advancing capitalist exploitation. Finally, it considers the role of people as agents of heritage production, and analyses the complexity of the relationships between people and objects. This book is a rigorous assessment of how conceptions of Japanese heritage have been forged, and provides a wealth of evidence that questions established assumptions on the nature and social roles of heritage.
Author: Luis Frois SJ
Release Date: 2014-03-14
Genre: Social Science
In 1585, at the height of Jesuit missionary activity in Japan, which was begun by Francis Xavier in 1549, Luis Frois, a long-time missionary in Japan, drafted the earliest systematic comparison of Western and Japanese cultures. This book constitutes the first critical English-language edition of the 1585 work, the original of which was discovered in the Royal Academy of History in Madrid after the Second World War. The book provides a translation of the text, which is not a continuous narrative, but rather more than 600 distichs or brief couplets on subjects such as gender, child rearing, religion, medicine, eating, horses, writing, ships and seafaring, architecture, and music and drama. In addition, the book includes a substantive introduction and other editorial material to explain the background and also to make comparisons with present-day Japanese life. Overall, the book represents an important primary source for understanding a particularly challenging period of history and its connection to contemporary Europe and Japan.
Contemporary Japan is in a state of transition, caused by the forces of globalization that are derailing its ailing economy, stalemating the political establishment and generating alternative lifestyles and possibilities of the self. Amongst this nascent change, Japanese society is confronted with new challenges to answer the fundamental question of how to live a good life of meaning, purpose and value. This book, based on extensive fieldwork and original research, considers how specific groups of Japanese people view and strive for the pursuit of happiness. It examines the importance of relationships, family, identity, community and self-fulfilment, amongst other factors. The book demonstrates how the act of balancing social norms and agency is at the root of the growing diversity of experiencing happiness in Japan today.
Author: Kristin Surak
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Release Date: 2012-11-28
Genre: Social Science
The tea ceremony persists as one of the most evocative symbols of Japan. Originally a pastime of elite warriors in premodern society, it was later recast as an emblem of the modern Japanese state, only to be transformed again into its current incarnation, largely the hobby of middle-class housewives. How does the cultural practice of a few come to represent a nation as a whole? Although few non-Japanese scholars have peered behind the walls of a tea room, sociologist Kristin Surak came to know the inner workings of the tea world over the course of ten years of tea training. Here she offers the first comprehensive analysis of the practice that includes new material on its historical changes, a detailed excavation of its institutional organization, and a careful examination of what she terms "nation-work"—the labor that connects the national meanings of a cultural practice and the actual experience and enactment of it. She concludes by placing tea ceremony in comparative perspective, drawing on other expressions of nation-work, such as gymnastics and music, in Europe and Asia. Taking readers on a rare journey into the elusive world of tea ceremony, Surak offers an insightful account of the fundamental processes of modernity—the work of making nations.
The idea that Japan is a socially homogenous, uniform society has been increasingly challenged in recent years. This book takes the resulting view further by highlighting how Japan, far from singular or monolithic, is socially and culturally complex. It engages with particular life situations, exploring the extent to which personal experiences and lifestyle choices influence this contemporary multifaceted nation-state. Adopting a theoretically engaged ethnographic approach, and considering a range of "escapes" both physical and metaphorical, this book provides a rich picture of the fusions and fissures that comprise Japan and Japaneseness today.
Author: Joy Hendry
Release Date: 2006-09-27
It has been customary in the appraisal of the different approaches to the study of Japan anthropology to invoke an East-West dichotomy positing hegemonic ‘Western’ systems of thought against a more authentic ‘Eastern’ alternative. Top scholars in the field of Japan anthropology examine, challenge and attempt to move beyond the notion of an East-West divide in the study of Japan anthropology. They discuss specific fieldwork and ethnographic issues, the place of the person within the context of the dichotomy, and regional perspectives on the issue. Articulating the influence of the East-West divide in other disciplines, including museum studies, religion, business and social ecology, the book attempts to look towards a new anthropology that transcends the limitations of a simplistic East-West opposition, taking into account the wealth of regional and global perspectives that are exhibited by contemporary scholarship on Japan anthropology. In concluding if the progress achieved in anthropological work on Japan can provide a model for good practice beyond this regional specialization, this timely and important book provides a valuable examination of the current state of the academic study of Japan anthropology.
Author: Ian Condry
Publisher: Duke University Press
Release Date: 2006-10-11
In this lively ethnography Ian Condry interprets Japan’s vibrant hip-hop scene, explaining how a music and culture that originated halfway around the world is appropriated and remade in Tokyo clubs and recording studios. Illuminating different aspects of Japanese hip-hop, Condry chronicles how self-described “yellow B-Boys” express their devotion to “black culture,” how they combine the figure of the samurai with American rapping techniques and gangsta imagery, and how underground artists compete with pop icons to define “real” Japanese hip-hop. He discusses how rappers manipulate the Japanese language to achieve rhyme and rhythmic flow and how Japan’s female rappers struggle to find a place in a male-dominated genre. Condry pays particular attention to the messages of emcees, considering how their raps take on subjects including Japan’s education system, its sex industry, teenage bullying victims turned schoolyard murderers, and even America’s handling of the war on terror. Condry attended more than 120 hip-hop performances in clubs in and around Tokyo, sat in on dozens of studio recording sessions, and interviewed rappers, music company executives, music store owners, and journalists. Situating the voices of Japanese artists in the specific nightclubs where hip-hop is performed—what musicians and fans call the genba (actual site) of the scene—he draws attention to the collaborative, improvisatory character of cultural globalization. He contends that it was the pull of grassroots connections and individual performers rather than the push of big media corporations that initially energized and popularized hip-hop in Japan. Zeebra, DJ Krush, Crazy-A, Rhymester, and a host of other artists created Japanese rap, one performance at a time.
The balance between individual independence and social interdependence is a perennial debate in Japan. A series of educational reforms since 1990, including the implementation of a new curriculum in 2002, has been a source of fierce controversy. This book, based on an extended, detailed study of two primary schools in the Kinki district of Japan, discusses these debates, shows how reforms have been implemented at the school level, and explores how the balance between individuality and social interdependence is managed in practice. It discusses these complex issues in relation to personal identity within the class and within the school, in relation to gender issues, and in relation to the teaching of specific subjects, including language, literature and mathematics. The book concludes that, although recent reforms have tended to stress individuality and independence, teachers in primary schools continue to balance the encouragement of individuality and self-direction with the development of interdependence and empathy.
Author: Marc Edelman
Release Date: 2005-01-14
Genre: Social Science
The Anthropology of Development and Globalization is a collection of readings that provides an unprecedented overview of this field that ranges from the field’s classical origins to today’s debates about the “magic” of the free market. Explores the foundations of the anthropology of development, a field newly animated by theories of globalization and transnationalism Framed by an encyclopedic introduction that will prove indispensable to students and experts alike Includes readings ranging from Weber and Marx and Engels to contemporary works on the politics of development knowledge, consumption, environment, gender, international NGO networks, the IMF, campaigns to reform the World Bank, the collapse of socialism, and the limits of “post-developmentalism” Fills a crucial gap in the literature by mingling historical, cultural, political, and economic perspectives on development and globalization Present a wide range of theoretical approaches and topics
Author: Ian Condry
Publisher: Duke University Press
Release Date: 2013-01-11
Genre: Social Science
In The Soul of Anime, Ian Condry explores the emergence of anime, Japanese animated film and television, as a global cultural phenomenon. Drawing on ethnographic research, including interviews with artists at some of Tokyo's leading animation studios—such as Madhouse, Gonzo, Aniplex, and Studio Ghibli—Condry discusses how anime's fictional characters and worlds become platforms for collaborative creativity. He argues that the global success of Japanese animation has grown out of a collective social energy that operates across industries—including those that produce film, television, manga (comic books), and toys and other licensed merchandise—and connects fans to the creators of anime. For Condry, this collective social energy is the soul of anime.