CAS350H1 Lecture 10: CAS350 Lecture 10 Post Japan

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University of Toronto St. George
Contemporary Asian Studies
Dylan Clark

CAS350 Lecture 10 Post-Japan • Japan as something that was feudal into early modern • post-war Japan, and how early modern practices were deployed until bubble economy, until it burst • youth in Japan as objects of modern concern and moral panic • “Self”, “individual” o we sometimes fetishism of the self as if it is notable and distinct from its socio-political and family context o laws and religious beliefs and practices/schooling techniques that identify self o of the pure individual (such as in Europe, America) o early modern Japan: a person through one’s family etc., that one became a person in these ways and Japan taught young people to understand self and taught children how to feel as a person within a group • Transition of self away from group into an individual/unique self • Fordism o in Japan, workers get generous wages, esp. male o lifetime job security and pension after retire o system that allows for a male led economy o recirculation of wealth for consumers who can buy stuff o disposable income o relied on an international division of labour th • 20 century Japan o imports food and natural resources ▪ coal, iron, energy, oil o these raw materials are being transformed o international division of labour o In this ideological system, there is patriarchy (men gets job) o abundant rewards for co-producing this hegemony ▪ security, stability, education • Since 1980s, bubble burst o Japanese economy was really powerful in early 20 century, so when it pop after WWII it went down to economic stagnation o 1980, gigantic surplus of capital, and a lot was invested in real estate and stock market o and when it burst, Japan lost billions of dollars overnight • 1990s, structural transformation since bubble burst o neoliberalism implemented o lifetime employment is over, and now there’s regime of flexible accumulation o making people more productive by making them more insecure ▪ more competitiveness in global market o neoliberal practices in employment sector gives corporations more speed by cutting profits and wages which makes it more easier to compete with other countries o young people were the first to feel the brunt on these employment transitions • young people were lifetime employment has been shattered o 1992 = 80% o 2006 = 50% temporary • Japan Inc. (early 20 century Japan) o practice reciprocity with school mates, teacher, military and patriarchy in general o learn to practice yourself as you perceive, repay and give back to the teacher etc., ▪ ritually obliged on these ongoing relationships to continue to give, receive and repay o Who’s a moral person? ▪ good person, you’re honoring your obligations with that system • “Immorality” “Dishonour” o popular discourses o public lamentation in Japan about the transitions of young people • understand structural transformation where it shifted to neoliberal economy where it features insecure temporary employment and low wages, to the responses that many Japanese young people would have, and what kinds of public discourses would be used to make notable in the youth today • we have a society produced in patterns of intense reciprocity that is carried out by honourable people • “Lost generation” o What forms of morality are young people participating in? Allison, Immorality of Youth • starts with pg. 179 • pg. 180: “the anxiety and doubts of the moments have crystalize around youth” o kids are missing human connectedness = pity/poor youth • pg. 181: “youth are blamed…target of moral panic” o gender dimension: fear of weakening of the country o women – failure to breed, not marriage o men – not be able to find work o moral panic = sense that gender, masculinity, femininity is coming undone is arose in moral panic ▪ youth don’t honour reciprocal like the elderly did ▪ kids don’t fulfill obligations, dishonour what is given to them: do not repay what they owe ▪ in debt young generation ▪ discourse generated in the popular press ▪ wide-spread that something has gone wrong in society, often geared towards young people for failing to reciprocate Driscoll • How Japan structurally transformed • pg. 547-548: portrait of reforming the Japanese economy o “to extend labour precarity, they need to have more flexible employment” (not permanent workers) o winners and losers: Darwinian • pg. 549: refusal to breed o exam: give examples of the pitiful people and the women who are not getting married, and men not getting job ▪ how is it structural, high employment rate and flexible employment ▪ how is it carried over into ideological forms and live as ideology by Japanese young people • Neoliberal restructuring o you’re creating a wealthy 1% and that surplus capital is invested in real estate instead
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