学部創設50周年

The 50th Anniversary Symposium
To Establish the Asian Sociology: Current Status and Prospects of Sociology in Asia

Tachikawa Hall, Rikkyo University
October 22 - 25, 2008
Tokyo, Japan

1. The rationale of the symposium
2. Schedule
3. Session Abstracts

The rationale of the symposium

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, College of Sociology, Rikkyo University is hosting an international symposium highlighting the current status and prospects of Sociology in Asia.
Although “the Asian new era” has gathered a lot of attention during the last decade or two, the academic pursuit to explain the Asian societies across boundaries continues in the rapidly changing world. As the modernization theory has assumed, there are feelings that each society in the region is moving toward one direction to one cultural society or "modernization" not only by economic development and democratization but also by accelerating market liberalization and trans-nationalization of the popular culture. One might experience deja vu in the mega cities in Asia, which is to say that they have been taking similar steps that Tokyo and Osaka have followed once.
On the other hand, the tendency of differentiation is also remarkable. While the East Asian community vision has been advocated by various parts of the region, the mood of nationalism continues to exist and even increase while the confrontation of the cold war era is still not resolved. Moreover, the tendency of differentiation is deepening also within each society. In recent years, almost every region in East Asia has been forced to confront the flow of neo-liberalism, and the gap of urban and rural areas has spread drastically. As a result, urban areas in different nations share similar issues and problems, and the rural area also has an indication of having similar problems.
In addition to internationalization of capital and goods, the migratory movement in all fields, such as migrant workers, foreign students and tourists, is also expanding remarkably, and not only the big cities in Asia but the rural section can experience internationalization now.
How can scholars in sociology explain the rapidly changing Asian society concerning the significant issues including, but not limited to, the following?

-Tendency of recent migrants, including refugees, to cluster in ethnic communities around metropolitan areas.
-Rapidly changing population structure across the region.
-Expansion of gaps which progresses simultaneously with development. In other words, the upper strata of big cities connected to the global mega cities such as Tokyo or New York, while the coexistence of the slums inserted into the skyscraper which is maintaining the reality of so called “Asian Stagnation”.
-Saturation of visual/virtual culture on the Internet: transformation of Sexuality/ Gender across the border.
-Penetration of the popular culture across the border: Increasing young population in cities such as Shanghai, Taipei, or Seoul who live in the same “Fantasy World” in Tokyo or any other mega cities.

Schedule

Wednesday(Oct 22nd)

13:30-14:00 Opening Ceremony
Salutatory by Prof. Kinoshita, Yasuhito, Dean of College of Sociology, Rikkyo University
14:00-15:10 Keynote Speech on “Asian Society at the Crossroads and Challenges for Sociology” by Prof. Sasaki, Masamichi
15:20-17:20 Session1: Prospects and Experiences of Multicultural Community in an Era of Global Migration
Chairperson: Tetsuo Mizukami
Speakers:
Brenda S.A. Yeoh (National University of Singapore)
Alison Tokita (Monash University)
Tetsuden KASHIMA (University of Washington)
17:30-19:30 Reception Party

Thursday(Oct 23rd)

13:30-15:30 Session2: Population Change and Policy Challenge in Asia; focusing on the Problem of Aging Populations
Chairperson: Yasuhito Kinoshita
Speakers:
Hal Kendig (University of Sydney)
Kalyani K. Mehta (National University of Singapore)
Yoshiaki Edwin Noro (Rikkyo University)
15:40-17:40 Session3: Globalization and Mega Cities in East Asia
Chairperson: Yasushi Matsumoto,Toshie Takahashi
Speakers:
Xuefei Ren(Michigan State University)
Kee-Bom Nahm(The University of Seoul)
Koichi Takagi(Rikkyo University)

Friday(Oct 24th)

13:30-15:30 Session4: Sexuality/ Gender crossing the border: Transformation through the Media
Chairperson: Ron Korenaga
Speakers:
Ran Wei (University of South Carolina)
Go Ito (Musashino Art University)
Chiki Ogiue(Critic, Blogger)
Natsuko Yoshizawa (Rikkyo University)
15:40-17:40 Session5: Globalization and Post-Americanization in East Asia
Chairperson: Takao Mamada
Speakers:
Chin-Chuan Lee (City University of Hong Kong)
Sang Gil Lee (Yonsei University)
Seong Bin Hwang (Rikkyo University)
17:50-18:20 Closing Ceremony

Session Abstracts

Session1

Prospects and Experiences of Multicultural Community in an Era of Global Migration
Chairperson: Tetsuo Mizukami

The topic of global migration and resultant settlement patterns, or cross-cultural contact amongst different ethnic groups has, for some decades, become a significant issue in contemporary anthropology and sociology. And every indication suggests that it will become even more so in this era of global migration. Current debates about “transnational migrants” emphasise that migrants live within interconnections with more than one nation state, since their social relations in the new environments are not “uprooted” from their homeland. Contemporary metropolises, embedded with various types of migrants, including “migrant workers,” expatriates, and other types of transnational migrants, who are involved in multi-channelled networks, continuously keeping their links with homelands, while living in the host community. Multiculturalism as a policy or ideology has been established by the stimulation of various migrations with the development of cultural diversity, and the ongoing global migration promotes everyday lives in the metropolitan areas with linkages beyond the national border. In this session, we would like to discuss the impact of international migration upon the multicultural community, with some examples of how transnational connections or cosmopolitanism are initiated, developed and maintained in metropolitan areas.

Speakers:

  • Brenda S.A. Yeoh (National University of Singapore)
  • Alison Tokita (Monash University)
  • Tetsuden KASHIMA (University of Washington)
Session2

Change in Asian Population Composition and Accommodation to the Aging Problems
Chairperson: Yasuhito Kinoshita

East Asian advanced societies - Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore - are faced with a big change in the population composition, i.e. the rapidly declining birthrates and aging. A common pattern is seen in changes in population composition along with modernization and economic development. It is said that there exist four stages in population change. First stage: fecundity and many death (population is stable). Second stage: fecundity and low death rate (population increases). Third stage: low birth rate and high death rate (population decreases). Fourth stage: low birth rate and low death rate (population is stable). Japan is now entering to the third stage of the cycle. It seems that other developed nations and societies in the Asian region will go ahead through similar processes in the not-so-distant future.

In contemporary Japan, some serious problems are related to the increase of the aged (65 years old or older) population. The aged population ratio reached 20.8% in 2006, which is the highest in the whole world. Compared with this, the ratio in the United States is 12% level, U.K. and France are 15-16% level, and Nordic countries which are famous for the high standard of welfare are also 15-17% level. In addition, the speed of aging of the population in Japan is extremely fast. The aged population ratio is expected to reach 29% in 2020 and will continue increasing afterwards.

Such rapid change of the population composition thrusts serious problems to our nations and societies. There are two dimensions in those problems: the first dimension is about the “burden” to the social security system (pension, insurance, social welfare, etc.). The second dimension is about the support system for the social life of the increasing senior citizens (public support, informal care by families, neighbors, and support by groups such as NPOs, etc.). In contemporary Japan it is asked how we deal with those complex difficult problems.

The countries of East Asia have considerable cultural similarity, and have common tendency of the rapid decline of recent birthrates. Therefore, it will certainly be fruitful for us all to exchange useful information and study each other about the way to face with aging society, about the goals and measures of the social policy of each country.

Speakers:

  • Hal Kendig (University of Sydney)
  • Kalyani K. Mehta (National University of Singapore)
  • Yoshiaki Edwin Noro (Rikkyo University)

Session3

Globalization and Mega Cities in East Asia
Chairperson: Yasushi Matsumoto,Toshie Takahashi

Since the 1980s, globalizing economy has overshadowed East Asian mega cities. Unpredictable investment activities by international financial capitals sometimes boomed and sometimes depressed the urban economies, with having a deep impact on urban space and communities. While East Asian cities have similar issues such as widened income gaps among citizens and between rural and urban regions, urban redevelopments, and housing and environmental problems, they experienced different urban processes, depending on the mode of articulation to the global economy determined in part by their economic opportunities and in part by governmental strategies

This session will focus on Shanghai where urban economy has connected to the global economy through the Reform and Openness Policy, Seoul where population is still growing despite the IMF crisis in 1997, and Tokyo where urban economy has recovered from a long recession over ten years after the burst of the bubble economy, examining characteristics of urban process, experience, and problems of each city, and discuss viabilities of indigenous developments of East Asian cities, considering the complex relationships between the global and the local and between space and community in urban settings.
Speakers are Xuefei REN (Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Global Urban Studies Program, Michigan State University,) for Shanghai, Kee-Bom Nahm (Professor, Department of Urban Sociology, the University of Seoul) for Seoul, and Koichi TAKAGI (Professor, Department of Contemporary Culture and Society, Rikkyo University,) for Tokyo.

Speakers:

  • Xuefei Ren(Michigan State University)
  • Kee-Bom Nahm(The University of Seoul)
  • Koichi Takagi(Rikkyo University)

Session4

Sexuality / Gender crossing the border: Transformation through the Media
Chairperson: Ron Korenaga

May it be condemned morally or not, we have to admit the fact that a quantity of information diffused through the Internet is related to sexuality. Besides various types of pornography, the images of human bodies are being transformed in the contemporary media environments, including female bodies’ images in the context of Otaku culture originated in Japan and now consumed globally. On the other hand we have witnessed the backlash against “gender-free” or the concept of “gender” itself on the internet, which seems to be affected by both the conservative trend these days and the characteristics of the internet as media.

What is happening at the crossing point of sexuality/gender and contemporary media? How can we estimate the impacts of the changes of media, especially the Internet, towards the ideas and the images of bodies with sexuality/gender? Are sexuality and gender now crossing the border which was stable before the arising of the Internet? This session tries to explore these questions.

We have invited three speakers. Prof. Ran Wei, University of South Carolina, has conducted researches on the diffusion of media technology from the standpoint of social psychology, and has keen interest in the consumption of pornography in Asian societies. Mr. Go Ito, Musashino Art University, is a leading figure of Manga studies in contemporary Japan, whose masterpiece Tezuka is Dead analyses the transformation of the expression of bodies in Manga in the historical context brilliantly. Mr. Chiki Ogiue, the author of Web is Flaming, has researched the phenomenon of “gender backlash”, and obtains profound knowledge about the relations between sexuality/gender and the Internet from the experience of a web site manager (“blogger”) as well. The discussant is Prof. Natsuko Yoshizawa, Rikkyo University, majoring in sociology of gender.

Speakers:

  • Ran Wei (University of South Carolina)
  • Go Ito (Musashino Art University)
  • Chiki Ogiue(Critic, Blogger)
  • Natsuko Yoshizawa (Rikkyo University)

Session5

Globalization and Post-Americanization in East Asia
Chairperson: Takao Mamada

The problem concern of the session is whether or not U.S. cultural influence has been relative with maturity of the industrialization and consumer-driven culture of each country in East Asia and consumption since the second half of the 1980s.

However, Americanization is a slippery concept due to the various meaning implied by many sectors, such as scholars, journalists and politicians etc. There might be two layers in terms of the Americanization, from a lighter meaning like manners and customs to more solid ones such as the political system and market economy. It includes various levels and fields: Individualism and democracy, English as lingua franca, Pax-Americana in terms of International politics and economic dominance, American brand image in consumer culture and so on.

Difficulties in making an operational definition of 'Americanization' have been increased even as globalization process has deepened since 1990. That is why another slippery concept, post-Americanization, was chosen as a key concept for the discussion of the cultural/political landscapes of this region under the globalization process. The 'Post' here does not necessarily mean that the Americanization process is over. Rather, it will be useful for discussion of the back and deep impact of the Americanization to the present. Moreover, we suppose that it is helpful to think about the cultural impact in the decentralized world under the globalization process, where there is not plausibility for the dominant center and subordinated peripheries.

Under this problematic, we would like to discuss the issues as below.

-Whether or not America's cultural influence has been weakening in the region? - If Americanization has been significant, in which field has it been so? - If Post-Americanization is already a reality, does it mean a plural and de-centralized globalization? Or does it mean a sort of the formation of the "Local culture"? - Will Do Asian countries strengthen cultural affinity or strengthen cultural heterogeneity from now on?

Speakers:

  • Chin-Chuan Lee (City University of Hong Kong)
  • Sang Gil Lee (Yonsei University)
  • Seong Bin Hwang(Rikkyo University)
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