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Volume 32, 2015
Making and Un-Making Modern Japan

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Displaying: 1-18 of 18 documents

1. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Ritu Vij Making and Un-Making Japanese Modernity: An Introduction
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part i: the vicissitudes of japanese modernity
2. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Carl Cassegard Naturalized Modernity and the Resistance it Evokes: Sociological Theory Meets Murakami Haruki
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Shock has often been viewed as emblematic of modernity. Paradigmatic in this respect are the theories of Benjamin and Simmel. However, an equally important experience in modern societies is that of naturalization. This article attempts to investigate the implications of this experience for the theory of modernity through a discussion of contemporary Japanese literature, in particular the works of Murakami Haruki. I argue that just as the focus on shock enabled Benjamin and Simmel to illuminate the interconnectedness of a particular constellation of themes—the heightened consciousness or intellectualism of modernity, the destruction of aura or disenchantment, and the resulting spleen or Blasiertheit—so the focus on naturalization will contribute to an understanding of how themes such as the sense of complexity or ‘obscurity’, the phenomenon of ‘re-enchantment’ or ‘post-secularity’, and the increasing role of ‘non-social’ spheres in late modernity are interrelated.
3. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Kinhide Mushakoji Ethno-politics in Contemporary Japan: The Mutual-Occlusion of Orientalism and Occidentalism
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This essay offers a critical reading of Japan’s attempt to craft a modern identity. Eschewing the conventions of most scholarly writings, however, the essay builds on a personal history of political and intellectual engagement with key figures in post-war Japan to outline a counter-narrative about the ethno-politics of contemporary Japan. In distinction to both Orientalist and Occidentalist versions of Japanese modernity, the essay draws attention to the invidious return of notions of ethnic supremacy in Abe Shinzo’s con­temporary state project and the occlusion of a long-standing tradition in Japan of pluralistic co-existence among diverse communities. In drawing attention to the occlusions shaped by the entanglements of Japanese colonialism and state-building with American hegemony, this essay attempts to locate practices of exclusion within Japan (and vis-à-vis its Asian neighbors) in an account of what the essay contends is a civilizational project, best thought of as “Smart Occidentalism”, dominant in in contemporary Japan.
part ii: citizenship, migrants and welfare in modern japan
4. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Hironori Onuki A Dilemma in Modern Japan?: Migrant Workers and the (Self-)Illusion of Homogeneity
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Transnational labour migration has recently returned to the spotlight in Japan, due to its rapidly declining population and labour force. This paper argues that the tension between the (self-)illusion of Japan as a homogeneous nation-state and trans-border labour-importing to ensure the continued supply of the workforce has inherently characterized the process of Japan’s modernity since the Meiji Restoration of 1868. In doing so, it seeks to demonstrate how the synchrony of such ostensibly conflicting interests makes eminent economic sense to recruit migrant workers in order to ameliorate chronic labour shortages while keeping their labouring and living condition perpetually insecure and vulnerable.
5. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Reiko Shindo Pretended Citizenship: Rewriting the Meaning of Il-/Legality
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This paper examines the on-going debate on the conceptual usefulness of citizenship as an analytic tool, arguing that the academic debate often assumes that resistance to state control of mobility is manifested only in refusal to accept the il/legal boundary. Such an assumption leads to a tendency in the debate to privilege irregular migrants’ experiences. By looking at regular migrants who come to Japan with a legal status and the ways in which they negoti­ate the il/legal boundary, the paper highlights different practices of resisting state control: namely practices that pretend to accept state control while quietly rewriting the meaning of Il-/legality.
6. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Reiko Gotoh What Japan Has Left Behind in the Course of Establishing a Welfare State
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The purpose of this paper is to examine the direction which the Japanese welfare state has pursued and what it has left behind, by contrasting the points of view of two representative approaches in economics: the traditional income approach and the capability approach which has been newly proposed by Amartya Sen. In extracting the structure of the tax-social security system, the paper refers to the framework of John Rawls, precepts of “common sense of justice” and their higher principles in his theory of justice. The main conclusion is that Japanese welfare state has followed universal liberalism based on continuity, the essential characteristic of the income approach, and has left behind the equality of the differences. This paper indicates that the capability approach which makes it possible to analyze the discontinuity within an individual’s life by focusing on her doings and beings is also suitable for understanding the differences among individuals.
part iii: risk, reciprocity, and ethno-nationalism: reflections on the fukushima disaster
7. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Hiroyuki Tosa The Failed Nuclear Risk Governance: Reflections on the Boundary between Misfortune and Injustice in the case of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster
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Although technological progress has greatly created the possibilities for the expanded reach of risk management, its newly manufactured uncertainty may bring about a big scale of catastrophe. In order to control risk of the nature, the human ironically may create a hybrid monster that the human cannot control. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster also can be described as a hybrid monster, in which natural and technological elements combine to produce uncontrollable risks that may have disastrous consequences. This article scrutinizes the politics of the boundary between calculable risks and unpredictable uncertainty as well as the politics of the boundary between misfortune and injustice by focusing upon the lineage of a hybrid monster such as the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Following the check of implications of a hybrid monster, we will interrogate historical lineage. Third we will examine the way in which technocratic politics of <risk/uncertainty> would influence the boundary between misfortune and injustice. Fourth we will scrutinize problems with the probabilist way of thinking, which tends to suppress the risk of nuclear technology. Finally we shed a light on technocratic governance forcing the people to become resilient.
8. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Giorgio Shani Ganbarō Nippon: Tabunka Kyōsei and Human (In)Security Post 3–11
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This article illustrates how Japanese national identity continues to be imagined along ethnic lines in the aftermath of the ‘triple disasters’ of March 11, 2011 (hereafter 3/11). It critically examines the ‘new’ discourse of tabunka kyōsei which seeks to incorporate migrants and other ethnic minorities in the nation through an emphasis on cultural difference and argues that the stress on the insurmountability of cultural difference reifies the identities of migrant and minority populations. This in turn allows the State to treat them as homogenous groups with different interests which can be accommodated through the provision of public services at a local level, while effectively excluding them from the national level. In a post-3/11 context, the myth of an ethnically ‘homogenous’ nation is reproduced through the discourse of Ganbarō Nippon with profund implications for the human security of migrant and minority populations.
9. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Paul Dumouchel Reciprocity: Nuclear Risk and Responsibility
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Focusing on the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, this article argues that there is or can be a form of reciprocity between the victims of a catastrophe and society at large to the extent that victims become the occasion and rationale for social reforms. The victims’ contribution to society in this case is the simple fact of being victims. Such a form of reciprocity requires a particular relation to time which Jean-Pierre Dupuy has recently analyzed. In the case of modern risks such as nuclear risk, the contribution of the victims is not only to a better future, but also takes place in the present by rendering patent risks which, as Ulrich Beck argued, though they are known tend to remain socially invisible.
on contemporary philosophy and sociology
10. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Manussos Marangudakis Civil Religion in Greece: A Study in the Theory of Multiple Modernities
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The article examines the moral sources and the cultural codifications of civil religion in Greece as this has been shaped by a series of historical contingencies and social forces. It identifies a certain developmental process from a “sponsored” by state and church civil religion (1830–1974) to an autonomous civil religion (1974–today). This development was not the result of an automatic process of social differentiation, but a cultural mutation caused by historical contingencies and the presence of charismatic social elites that instigated the change. Following the premises of the theory of multiple modernities, the analysis identifies foundational cultural patterns on which both sponsored and autonomous civil religions are based upon, patterns that can be traced back to Orthodox religious ontological and cosmological principles as well as visions of the moral self. These premises became the modality of a modern and secular, yet, schismogenetic civil religion that functions simultaneously as a force of social cohesion and of social rupture.
11. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Nicla Vassallo, M. Cristina Amoretti Underdetermination and Theory-Ladenness Against Impartiality: A Defence of Value-Free Science and Value-Laden Technology
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The aim of this paper is to show that science, understood as pure research, ought not to be affected by non-epistemic values and thus to defend the traditional ideal of value-free science. First, we will trace the distinction between science and technology, arguing that science should be identified with pure research and that any non-epistemic concern should be di­rected toward technology and technological research. Second, we will examine different kinds of values and the roles they can play in scientific research to argue that science understood as pure research is mostly (descriptively) and in any case ought to be (normatively) value-free. Third, we will consider and dismiss some widespread arguments that aim to defend, especially at a normative level, the inevitable value-ladenness of science. Finally, we will briefly return to the connections among science, technology, and values.
12. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Celso Sánchez Capdequí The Challenge of Creativity: a Diagnosis of our Times
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This article analyzes the idea of creativity due to its relevance in our habits and lifestyles. Until recent times the creativity was only a skill of artist, but now it has became in a normal activity for the rest of society. We must be creative. This is the new creative ethos.The core of article insist on the axial origin of this idea. And it intends to remember the reasons that explain its emergence and to re-think the outcomes of the axial revolutions, specially, the ideas of creativity and transcendence without the help of myth of secularization. The Thought of second degree will ocuppy a central place in this article in order to explain the importance of axial cultures for the future of the human history
13. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
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14. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
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15. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
On ProtoSociology
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16. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Books on Demand
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17. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Digital Volumes available
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18. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Bookpublications of the Project
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