Urban Japan has presented an opportunity for ethnographers to appreciate the heterogeneity and creativity of contemporary Japanese life, as well as persistent issues of inequality and marginalization that are sometimes hidden in plain sight. Japan's cities were transformed by new postwar mobilities and displacements; they were also locations of new forms of settlement and subjectivity. Ethnographies have focused on the durability of local tradition and identity, as well as the subtle negotiations between insiders and outsiders that urbanization amplified. Japan's cities also provide a glimpse at the extremes of the political economic spectrum, from impoverished day labor enclaves to the white-collar “salaryman.” At the turn of the century, urban ethnographers turned to music, fashion, and youth subcultures. Japanese cities are not only sites for the consolidation of capital, but also places where futuristic utopian dreams and apocalyptic echoes of war and disaster are shaped and circulated.
Rapone, BrittanyDanely, Jason
Department of Social Sciences
Year of publication: 2021Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-01-07
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