Tuesday, 8 October 2013

New book on social movements in Japan


So now it's out, my new book on social movements in Japan. I do like it. It's a bit expensive but I do wish it bon voyage. Thanks to everyone who helped me finish it - above all everyone who agreed to be interviewed, and everyone who gave me criticism or comments. Thanks also to Sekine Masayuki-san, who let me use his photo of the 246 Conference of Expressive Artists for the cover!

Cassegard, Carl (2013) Youth Movements, Trauma, and Alternative Space in Contemporary Japan, Leiden: Global Oriental

The volume provides a detailed study and assessment of social movements among young Japanese from the late 1980s until the present day. Discussing anti-war mobilizations, freeter unions, artists in the homeless movement, campus protest, anti-nuclear protest and activists engaged in support for social withdrawers, the author documents how new forms of activism developed hand-in-hand with experiments in using alternative spaces outside mainstream public areas and a struggle with the traumatic legacy of the failure of earlier protest movements. Despite the relative absence of open protest during much of the 1990s, the author demonstrates that this was an important preparatory period, full of experimentation, in which the foundations for today’s protest movements were laid. This book will be welcomed by students of sociological theory relating to Japan as well as those studying the trends and dynamics of contemporary ‘post-Bubble’ Japanese society.

Table of contents: 


1. Trauma, empowerment and alternative space
- Collective trauma
- Empowerment and the role of alternative space in social movements

2. Japan’s lost decade and two recoveries
- The end of the bubble and the arrival of precarity
- The sense of closure and the legacy of previous protest
- Lost decade, regained activism?

3. The new cultural movements
- The storm of autumn
- The league of good-for-nothings
- Anti-war protests and the prehistory of sound-demos

4. The rise of movements against precarity
- The General Freeter Union and the ‘precariat’
- ‘Life’ and ‘survival’ in the precarity movement

5. Space, art and homelessness
- Public space, counter-space and no-man’s-land
- Art beyond the pleasure principle: The Shinjuku cardboard village
- Anti-poverty and Viva poverty
- “Waking up from the dream”: Nagai Park’s theatre of resistance
- Miyashita Park: Can a no-man’s-land be defended?

6. Alternative space, withdrawal and empowerment
- Support groups for social withdrawers and NEET
- Freeter Unions: narratives of recovery

7. Campus protest 

8. The recovery of activism
- Three innovations of freeter activism
- The importance of space – contestation and bracketing
- Fukushima and beyond

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