Japanese Thematic Sessions

Thematic Sessions prepared by the Japanese Local Organizing Committee. By invitation only.


Thematic Session 1

Monday, July 14, 2014: 02:00 PM - 03:20 PM

Natural/Human Disasters and the Recovery of Local Society

Session Organizers
Koichi HASEGAWA, Tohoku University, Japan, k-hase@sal.tohoku.ac.jp
Takashi MACHIMURA, Hitotsubashi University, Japan, t.machimura@r.hit-u.ac.jp

Not open for submission of abstracts.
The 3.11 disaster in 2011 has raised many tasks to sociological studies. This was a complex combination of earthquake, tsunami and serious nuclear accident. What can we do as sociologists? What should we learn from it? What feedback can we provide to the devastated area? The session “Natural/Human Disasters and the Recovery of Local Society” consists of four prominent papers.  

Discussants will provide comments on Japanese society and the research experience on floods in Brisbane, Australia, in January 2011.

Thematic Session 2

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 02:00 PM - 03:20 PM

Low Fertility, Rapidly Aging Society, and Changing Gender Relations

Session Organizers
Sawako SHIRAHASE, University of Tokyo, Japan,sshiraha@l.u-tokyo.ac.jp
Saeko KIKUZAWA, Hosei University, Japan,skikuzaw@hosei.ac.jp

Not open for submission of abstracts.
Japan is characterized by a rapid change in its demographic structure and by persistent gender inequality both within the family and at work. The session “Low Fertility, Rapidly Aging Society, and Changing Gender Relations” consists of three prominent papers.

These three papers correspond to three important aspects of social inequality in contemporary Japan: family, work, and care.


Thematic Session 3

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 02:00 PM - 03:20 PM

Civil Society Issues: CSOs, NGOs, Social Movements

Session Organizer
Daishiro NOMIYA, Sophia University, Japan, d-nomiya@sophia.ac.jp

Not open for submission of abstracts.
This session discusses how civil societies in Asia have responded to the nuclear disaster of March 2011 in Japan. The nuclear power plant explosions, which occurred subsequently to a huge earthquake and a subsequent tsunami which hit the northern part of Japan, led to emergency mass evacuations and resultant community dislocations.

What we now collectively call “3.11” has ignited responses from civil societies in various parts of the world. To date, Japan has witnessed more than a thousand events and civil activities calling for de-nuclearization of the whole of Japan. In Taiwan, a series of anti-nuclear actions have taken place nearby the capital city of Taipei. In Japan and Taiwan, but also in many other countries in Asia, such as South Korea, China, Singapore, the Philippines, and India, civil activities have become vibrant after the 3.11. Interestingly, however, these responses appear to differ from one country to another.

Civil society in India, for example, tends to utilize 2011 Japan’s disaster as a motivational source for their anti-nuclear weapon drives, while in Taiwan, civil society has mainly focused on the stoppage of nuclear power plants. This session will explore how civil societies in Asia have responded to the 3.11. In so doing, we explore why civil societies have given differing responses in various countries in Asia. We also seek to view the Asian response from global perspectives, including European and American ones.

Thematic Session 4

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 02:00 PM - 03:20 PM

Globalization, Migration and Multi-ethnicity in Asia: Mobility and Conviviality in Northeast Asia Based on Case Studies of Foreign Workers and Intermarriage Migrants in Japan

Session Organizer

Kazuhisa NISHIHARA, Seijo University, Japan, vzs00645@nifty.com

Not open for submission of abstracts.
This session titled “Mobility and Conviviality in Northeast Asia” includes presentations which seek to

  1. examine the situation of labor migrants in the Foreign Trainees and Technical Internship Program and cross-border migrants in Japan by studying marriage migrants,
  2. examine the way modern Japan society should be like in relation to the problem of social justice or human rights, and
  3. explore a new sociological perspective on the sociological meanings of the phenomenon, referring to the problems of discrimination and equality in modern Japan and East Asia.

The present studies are mainly based on interviews with a) trainees from China and the Philippines and b) marriage migrants from China, Korea, and the Philippines. The interviews were basically conducted in those local areas in Japan: agricultural districts in the Chubu region, and disaster-stricken fishing districts in the Tohoku region, while referring to the Tokai and Kansai urban region for comparison. Through those case studies, contemporary multi-cultural and multi-ethnical situations in Japan and East Asia will be investigated in this session.

In conclusion, those cases would be asserted to be most suitable to encourage the development of “methodological transnationalism” in an age of globalization.


Thematic Session 5

Friday, July 18, 2014: 02:00 PM - 03:20 PM

New Cultural Waves from Asia

Session Organizers
Kiyomitsu YUI, Kobe University, Japan, yui@lit.kobe-u.ac.jp
Kimio ITO, Kyoto University, Japan, itoida@aol.com

Not open for submission of abstracts.
New Cultural Waves from Asia could include many topics and themes. Among the fundamental themes, there is the “new” and transformed dimension of global cultural inequality and cultural hegemony as a challenge for global sociology. These basic themes touch upon the issues of transformation in post-colonialism, orientalism, the new horizon of the digital world divide and so forth.

Based upon these themes, the session will focus on the following issues concerning the waves from Asia: new sub-cultures including youth culture, animation, comics, movie, music, fashion, games, costume play, and so forth, questioning whether these “waves” really have some presence in the world in the transformed situation aforementioned.

Also the session explores as the final goal the implication of those phenomena vis-à-vis the problematics that contemporary society faces and then, the implication for the current situation as well as for the future development of sociological theory.

Though we cannot cover every Asian wave, we will have observations of cases from Korea and China on the new cultural phenomena, especially in cultural production, then from Japan followed by their reception in Europe and the USA


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International Sociological Association
June 2014