16th IUAES World Congress

(Kunming, China, July 27-31, 2009)

"Representing Ethnicity:
Dynamics of Practice and Research"

Session Abstract
What is ethnicity and how do ethnic groups come into existence? Do all ethnic groups ultimately aspire to sovereignty? How does belonging to an ethnic group affect behavior, identity, and collective representation? The relationship of ethnicity and nationalism to democracy has been defined as one of the central questions of our age. Similarly, sorting out the relationship between cultures, subcultures, and ethnic groups remains a core theoretical issue in anthropology. In spite of the growth in the cultural heterogeneity of nation-states triggered by globalization, there is little agreement among social scientists on how best to respond to it in terms of policies that protect the cultural rights of minority groups without fostering separatist movements. Multicultural education has been seen as a particularly promising strategy toward the establishment of genuinely pluralistic forms of governance. However, the link between power--social, political, economic--and cultural hegemony seems to be very strong, and cultural dissonance in hierarchical, centralized polities sets into motion a powerful centrifugal process. This process often leads to the self-segregation of any group seeing itself as “different” from the mainstream, and this in turn precipitates ethnogenesis, ultimately resulting in secessionist aspirations. Because of this, multicultural education often seems part of an accommodationist strategy, aimed at defusing conflict by focusing the attention of non-dominant populations on issues of cultural identity, rather than on the ongoing realities of socio-political inequality. Furthermore, the way multicultural education has been developed and applied seems to vary along a broad spectrum. Indeed, multiculturalism in general is defined and applied in very culture-specific ways, and these differences correlate to the various ways ethnicity itself is perceived, expressed, and represented by in-group and out-group members within any national setting. Such cross-cultural differences need to be documented and explored and anthropologists have the best disciplinary tools to apply toward the necessary clarification of the conceptual categories to be used in ethnicity research. This session gathers and presents research and scholarship which clarifies current representations of ethnicity and assesses them cross-culturally. In particular, it will document the contrasting ways ethnicity is defined, expressed, analyzed, and represented within and outside specific ethnic groups. It will also contrast and compare lay and analytical terminological uses, and attempt to relate the resulting typology to historical and cultural variation. Finally, the session will also highlight the presentation of both empirical research and theoretical proposals on policies that promise to positively address ethnic conflict, ameliorate ethnic relations, and establish constructive forms of cultural pluralism.

The aim of this session is to gather and present research and scholarship which clarifies and cross-culturally assesses the way ethnicity is defined, expressed, analyzed, and represented both within and outside specific ethnic groups, in the process contrasting lay and analytical categories and their variation in time and place.


Session Chair & Organizer
E.L. Cerroni-Long, COER Chair

Summary of Panels

A. Ethnic Transitions

B. Ethnic Interactions

Panels Composition

A. Ethnic Transitions
(Discussant: tba)

University of Melbourne, Australia
From Tribal to Ethnic: Shifting Identities in the Pacific

2. Karen L ITO
University of California at Los Angeles, USA
Ethnicity and Class among Indigenous Americans

3. Melani ANAE
University of Auckland, New Zealand
Teu le va: Pacific Educational Research in New Zealand

4. Marta CRIVOS, María Rosa Martínez, Laura Teves, Carolina Remorini, Anahí Sy
Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina
Implementing Multiculturalism: The Guarani Cathedra

5. Hyup CHOI
Chonnam National University, Korea
Inter-Ethnic Marriage in Korea

6. Lana PETERNEL and Anita Sujoldžić
Institute for Anthropological Research, Croatia
Ethnic Identity and Acculturation: Immigrant Youth in Croatia

7. Chunxiang WEN
Xiamen University, China
Cultural Representation and Ethnic Identity: A Critical Study of the She People

Eastern Michigan University, USA
Ethnicity in the Museum

B. Ethnic Interactions
(Discussant: Leif Ole Manger)

1. Stanley R. BARRETT
University of Guelph, Canada
Ethnic Conflict and Feud: Models of Violence

2. Jianxin ZHOU and Zhijun LIU
Gannan Normal University and Zhejiang University, China
Hakka Ethnic Group Identification and Cultural Production: An Anthropological Study of the World Hakka Conference

3. Galina ERMAK
Far Eastern State University, Russia
Ethnicity and Social Identity

4. Johan LEMAN, Christiane Stallaert, Iman Lechkar
Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium
Crossing Ethnic Boundaries: Islamic Conversion in Europe

5. M. Nazif SHAHRANI
Indiana University, USA
Nation-States, Identity Politics, and Crises of Governance in Southwestern Asia

6. Yuki HIRANO
Simon Fraser University, Canada
Ethnicity and Nationalism in the Westernization of Japan

7. Magid SHIHADE
University of California at Davis, USA
Ethnic Conflict and State Intervention: Colonialism in Motion

Kyoto University, Japan
Construction and Representation of Ethnicity: Korean Immigrants in USA, Japan and Russia



Panel A. Ethnic Transitions (Chair: E. L. Cerroni-Long)

1. From Tribal to Ethnic: Shifting Identities in the Pacific

Mary Patterson
University of Melbourne, Australia

From early European encounters with Pacific peoples, in popular literary and travel writing, not to mention in the academic discourse of anthropology until quite recently, major socio cultural and linguistic groups have been referred to as ‘tribes’. Tribal loyalties, or something called ‘tribalism’ was seen as the source of a failure of development in the evolutionary progression to modernity, stalled in the Pacific as in Africa and elsewhere because of it. While the language of tribalism replaced an earlier more racist categorisation of Pacific peoples into the more ‘advanced’ Polynesians of the East and those seen by Europeans as less so in the West, it has become increasingly common for ‘ethnic group’ to replace ‘tribe’ and ‘ethnicity’ to replace ‘tribalism’, especially in the media. Conflicts between linguistic groups, or between members of different islands, for example those that have recently occurred in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, are commonly referred to as ‘ethnic conflicts’ with all that such conflicts imply from other regions of the world and indeed in neighbouring regions like Fiji, where historic conflicts between indigenous Fijians and Indians have always been referred to in this way. This paper examines the politics of representation in this shift while addressing the underlying contexts that produce it, particularly in the Western Pacific Island states commonly still referred to as Melanesia.

Key Words: Modernity, indigenous populations, representation

2. Ethnicity and Class among Indigenous Americans

Karen L. Ito
University of California at Los Angeles, USA

There are two levels upon which one can consider ethnicity. One is of course on the personal level of an ethnic group and the individuals within that sometimes blurry and often elastically defined group. The second is on the meta-level of the globalization process. With indigenous populations, their ethnic and even racial boundaries are influenced by global market forces such as tourism. In addition, in this age of electronic communication, political movements of indigenous rights have become interconnected and self-referent. This paper will discuss ethnicity among a Pacific Island population that is heavily influences by tourism and by indigenous political movements, both in the Pacific and on the mainland United States. Hawaiians are one of two Polynesian populations who loom large in the Western fantasies of an exotic other; the second being Tahitians. Both are not of a monolithic economic class, either historically or presently. They are among the few of the Pacific Island populations who developed a rigid class system prior to contact with the West. This paper will focus on 1) the personal experience of race and class differences among Hawaiians, and 2) the interrelationship between ethnicity, race, and class as influenced by not only the global tourist market but also by global political movements of indigenous rights among Hawaiians.

Key Words: Globalization, indigenous rights, tourist market

3. Teu le va: Pacific Educational Research in New Zealand

Melani Anae
University of Auckland, New Zealand

In New Zealand, much of the development of Pacific paradigms, models of ‘well-being’, research methodologies and cultural competencies, has occurred in the health sector. With current government demands for ‘evidence-based’ and ‘culturally appropriate’ research, and Pacific communities’ calls for research which is ‘for Pacific by Pacific’, the drive to develop new ways to think about research and the need to build Pacific research capability and capacity have become more and more apparent. In this paper I contend that much of this development appears to be ad hoc, piecemeal and fragmented, highlighting the necessity for more coordination and focus. This can be traced to the need for a more comprehensive conceptual framework for well-being which offers holistic theoretical foundations upon which we can think about doing Pacific research in New Zealand. I contend that the Samoan concept/tenet/practice of ‘teu le va’ provides a significant cultural reference point for such a framework in highlighting the need to ‘tidy up’ the physical, spiritual, cultural, social, psychological and tapu (sacred) ‘spaces’ of human relationships in research praxis. In this paper I contend that much Pacific research in New Zealand has glossed over and ignored not only the multi-ethnic nature of Pacific communities, but also the intra-ethnic nuances of the diverse groupings of Pacific peoples. Until this is addressed, Pacific research in New Zealand will be ineffective and lack ability for transformative change for a component of New Zealand’s population which remains marginalised. I argue that this can be addressed by guidelines for research that will provide pathways through these complexities which will lead to more robust research processes and more effective outcomes. I propose to do this by re-introducing the Ethnic Interface Model (Tanya Samu 1998) and offering a Pacific indigenous philosophical methodology which focuses on the centrality of reciprocal ‘relationships’ as a conceptual point of reference for future Pacific research in New Zealand.

Key Words: Cultural complexity, research methodology, indigenous concepts

4. Implementing Multiculturalism: The Guarani Cathedra

Marta Crivos, María Rosa Martínez, Laura Teves, Carolina Remorini, Anahí Sy
Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina

In this paper we present an analysis of the attempt to establish the Free Cathedra of Culture Mbya Guaraní at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina (UNLP). The objective of this attempt was the institutionalization of a structure for intercultural dialogue between members of the communities Mbya Guarani of the province of Missions, the university community, and the larger society. In response to the claim of cultural, political and territorial autonomy of indigenous populations vis-à-vis the national state, public policies are being developed that encourage interaction with these groups, acknowledging their ethnic, cultural and linguistic particularities. At the same time, it must be ensured that these particularities do not become barriers for communication and/or collaboration. To work jointly with the members of the Mbya communities in initiatives that enhance the benefit of sharing traditional and contemporary knowledge and practices, allows us to go beyond the “essentialist” views of indigenous populations that often result in projects aimed at “conserving” the cultural patrimony of these groups as strongly anchored in their natural environment. However, the feasibility of this project's design and the success of its implementation have to contend with one issue: the land claims of both communities and the necessary preservation of settlements. The intervention in this process of different agents, such as ENDEPA and other organizations dedicated to the defense of indigenous rights, has deepened the breach between the academic ideal of conservation and sustainable development and the ideal of restitution of all the lands demanded by the native populations. The UNLP project includes as principal actors the Mbya communities, some of whose members, at first, participated actively in the elaboration of the project, assuming teaching responsibilities for the cathedra. At present, however, the land claim is considered by them a pre-condition to any participation in joint projects. The complexity of the intercultural dialog we have attempted to establish constitutes a major challenge. By analyzing the various factors involved we hope to gain new perspectives through which alternative routes of resolution may be found.

Key Words: Intercultural dialog, indigenous populations, land claims

5. Inter-Ethnic Marriage in Korea

Hyup Choi
Chonnam National University, Korea

Ethnic diversity has long been a remote reality for Korean society as inter-ethnic marriage has been negligible throughout Korea’s history. However, the situation has been changing rapidly since the 1990s. In 2005, according to governmental estimate, about 14 per cent of new marriages in Korea were international marriages. The percentage increases even further if we focus on the marriages in rural areas: about 36 per cent of Korean men in rural areas married foreign brides. The purpose of the present paper is to discuss this rather recent phenomenon of inter-ethnic marriage from historical and socio-political perspectives. In this paper, statistical trends of inter-ethnic marriage in Korea since the 1990s will be documented. Then, statistical data will be analyzed so as to delineate the salient features of the trend. This analysis will be followed by theoretical interpretations. Some attempts will be made to relate the sudden increase of inter-ethnic marriage in Korea to the establishment of the world capitalist system and the consequent inequality among nations. Other factors such as demographic changes in Korea, especially the demographic imbalance in the rural areas, economic disparity, patriarchal social structure, and globalization will be examined as well.

Key Words: Globalization, demographic imbalance, social change

6. Ethnic Identity in Acculturation Processes of Immigrant Youth in Croatia

Lana PETERNEL and Anita Sujoldžić
Institute for Anthropological Research, Croatia

This research is focused on acculturation processes of the adolescents in Croatia with the experience of refugees, a very sensitive population faced with double challenge: the integration of past experiences and the definition of its own identity inside and between two cultures. By their origin the immigrants belong mostly to the Croatian ethnic corpus, and a smaller number are Bosniacs or Muslims by religion; the structure, content and degree of their ethnic identification necessarily are different, as is the degree of their identification with the host culture. Both immigrant groups compared to those of the host population in Croatia originate from different cultural traditions and are marked by a number of specificities in the way of living, customs, and especially in language (dialect), characterized mostly by dialectal differences. Depending on how these small cultural differences are perceived by the majority community members, the issue of ethnical identity of the immigrants may be problematic as their ethnic identification, in whole or in part, with the host community culture does not have to coincide with the majority community views. The theoretical framework of this work is the Barth’s anthropological model of ethnicity as a form of social organization that finds its confirmation in the interaction of the socially differentiated signs, while the interactive model of acculturation as the adaptation to the dominant culture will be used, in which four acculturation strategies including assimilation, integration, separation or marginalization are possible outcomes. The results show that ethnic identification increases in the cultural communication that makes the formation of the borders between individual groups possible. Precisely these borders and not the cultural contents define an ethnic group and enable its persistence. In that context, language (dialect) becomes the most significant marker in ethnic identification and its role in the acculturation process is dichotomous. It is both the very common cause of ethnic discrimination, and the most important element in the formation of multi-structured ethnic identity of immigrant adolescents.

Key words: ethnic identity, acculturation, adolescents

7. Cultural Representation and Ethnic Identity: A Critical Study of the She People

Chunxiang Wen
Xiamen University, China

It has been held by traditional ethnologists that the She people formed in the Tang-Song period. However, this article reviews the representational history of the She people according to modern ethnicity theory and argues that the She people actually emerged as a different ethnic group as a result of the dominant Han ideology, applied from the Song to the Ming period. Based on the conventional "Hua Yi ideology", the She people were estranged by the Han people as a race of different origin and customs. As a result, and up to the Qing dynasty, the She people slowly acquired a separate ethnic consciousness. They began to identify themselves as different by calling the Han people "Helao"or "Baixing", and then they represented themselves as a people believing in Panhu and derived from four clans—Pan, Lei, Lan, and Zhong. Through oral tradition and genealogy compilation, their ethnic consciousness stabilized in the late Qing period. Not only had Zhong Liangbi case formed a collective memory but it also was recorded in story songs and passed on to subsequent generations. Moreover, the definition of Panhu belief and the use of the term "She"in genealogies greatly expanded their ethnic consciousness. Finally, the impact of modern nationalism accelerated the division between She and Han by turning the She people from the "primitive" category during the federal dynasties to that of a minority in republican times.

Key Words: Representational history, state ideology, ethnic consciousness

8. Ethnicity in the Museum

E. L. Cerroni-Long
Eastern Michigan University, USA

The establishment of museums is a phenomenon closely related to particular historical developments affecting Western societies engaged in colonial expansion. In a post-colonial, globalizing world it becomes particularly important to critically analyze the “traffic of culture” (Marcus & Myers 1995) in terms of production, circulation, and institutional representation in museum settings. Museum representations rely on the concept of cultural heritage, which, however, is far from being fully elucidated theoretically. Indeed, cultural heritage is difficult to define even in reference to long-established, ethnically homogeneous nation-states; when it is applied to ethnic groups this concept raises a number of unresolved issues. Through a comparative analysis of museum representations of ethnicity in four settings: the United States, Canada, Argentina, and Peru, I have attempted to clarify, and cross-culturally assess, the definitions of ethnic heritage being applied to their design. The results of my research indicate that definitions of cultural heritage interweave with definitions of ethnicity in ways that appear to be profoundly affected by the intellectual tradition in which they emerge. Thus, there is a profound distinction between North-American and South-American views of the way indigenous heritage is--or is not--perceived as distinct from that of the hegemonic culture, whether the latter is expressed at the folk, popular, or elite levels. Thus, while in South America one finds representational matrices which emphasize the incorporation of the indigenous heritage into historical processes of national development, in North America the ethnic heritage of any group is represented instead in ways that highlight its contrast with hegemonic cultural patterns. As a result, there exists a striking North-South divide in the way ethnicity gets defined and ethnic heritage gets expressed in the museum. Furthermore, the very concept of the museum as representational site differs dramatically across such a divide, and this difference points to the need to review universalistic concepts of cultural heritage in view of the culture-specific ideological components they may in fact incorporate.

Key Words: Cultural heritage, national development, representation


Panel B. Ethnic Interactions (Chair: E. L. Cerroni-Long)

1. Ethnic Conflict and Feud: Models of Violence

Stanley R. Barrett
University of Guelph, Canada

In the year 2005 residents of Canada’s largest city, Toronto, were traumatized by a near-record level of homicides, most of the victims young black men killed by handguns. As I followed the public debate about causes, which alternated between external factors (racism) and internal factors (dysfunctional culture), what struck me was the remarkable similarity between the violence in the beleaguered black community and that associated with feud in its classic sense such as in Corsica. Indeed, the basic elements behind feud--honour, respect, justice, freedom, revenge and omertà (code of silence)--seemed to be equally relevant to Toronto’s black community, as well as to ghettos in the U.S.A. Drawing heavily on Anderson’s (1999) splendid ethnography on inner-city violence in Philadelphia, this paper explores the overlap between vengeance-oriented societies and the urban ghetto, and then entertains the possibility that the basic elements of feud are embedded in a wide range of ethnic confrontations, and perhaps even in violence in general. To test these ideas, models of violence profiling the key elements of feud and subsuming ethnic conflict are erected, and assessed in terms of current theory in the burgeoning literature on the anthropology of violence.

Key Words: Urban ghetto, group confrontation, vengeance orientation

2. Hakka Ethnic Group Identification and Cultural Production: An Anthropological Study of the World Hakka Conference

Jianxin Zhou, Gannan Normal University, China
Zhijun Liu, Zhejiang University, China

The World Hakka Conference started in 1971 and has been held by rotation system across the world every two or three years ever since. So far twenty conferences have been held. As the interest in Hakka culture increases, the World Hakka Conference has evolved from simply a grand reunion and association (reporting sessions among various villages) into the cultural (large-scale entertainment and performance, art and literature, cuisine), academic (International Conference on Hakka Studies), economic (business and trade talks), and political (United Front work) spheres. It is not only an important carrier for the Hakka to maintain bonds of friendship with other villages and enhance multinational and multiregional interaction, but also a platform and arena for pluralistic ethnic group identification and cultural production in the new era. In recent years, in particular, there has been fierce competition in the bidding to host the World Hakka Conference, which attracts thousands of attendees and involves elaborate planning and careful implementation. The trade talks at the conference are worth tens of billions of dollars. Some state leaders are present at the conferences and the host provincial and municipal governments always go all out to make them successful. The conference has experienced increasing and steady growth in scale, content, and standards. In the eyes of the Hakka both at home and abroad, the World Hakka Conference is not unlike the Olympic Games in terms of status and influence. From the perspective of anthropological theory on ethnic groups, nongovernment (folk) movements and group events like the World Hakka Conference represent the cultural consciousness and ethnic group identification of the Hakka people in their pursuit of survival and development in the context of globalization. The conference attributes its changes and development to strategic utilization by various forces and is a creation and reinvention of the traditional culture. It involves the processes of ethnic group identification and cultural production on several different levels.

Key Words: Globalization, ethnic identity, folk movements

3. Ethnicity and Social Identity

Galina Ermak
Far Eastern State University, Russia

Following Friedrich Nietzsche’s terminology, Russian scholars call ethnic identification the "phantom" lurking in the depths of culture and awakening when circumstances become appropriate. Appropriate circumstances emerge when different ethnic groups need to deal with each other; the ethnicity “phantom” arises once natives and immigrants begin to compete for workplaces and housing. Ethnicity keeps gaining new importance among ethnic minorities in contemporary Russian society. Minorities do not conceive of ethnicity as phantomlike, but rather as an important factor in the establishment of a multicultural community. This paper presents the results of a study of the ethnic phenomenon as observed in Far Eastern Russia, where the Russian majority coexists with such ethnic minority groups as indigenous peoples, locally-born Koreans, immigrants from the Caucasus Mountains, guest workers from Central Asian states, Moslem communities, and Chinese migrants. The author has analyzed the processes of formation of ethnic identity and its interaction with other forms of social identifications, such as gender, age, religion, education, civil, regional, professional, family affiliations, etc. The methods of empirical data gathering were questionnaire and interviewing. To interpret the data, two methodological approaches were used: the one of classic positivistic sociology and the one of post-modernism. In the 19th and early 20th centuries sociology and psychology recognized the phenomenon of social identity as the adaptation of a person to the values and norms institutionalized by a relatively stable society. On the other hand, the main characteristics of modern societies include dynamism, variability, and instability. Contemporary sociological concepts also advocate the idea of constant social changes, relating the survivability of a society or individual to their ability to adapt to changes, both locally and globally. Zygmunt Bauman, when speaking of the sphere of routine daily chores, pointed out that the "long-term" mentality of the past century has been replaced by a new "short-term" mentality. Therefore, today’s instability of social identifications can be considered the norm, and not the consequence of societal crisis. Our research has shown that the phenomenon of ethnicity can play an important role in modern societies, catalyzing either their integration or disintegration.

Key Words: Social identification, normative instability, multicultural community

4. Crossing Ethnic Boundaries: Islamic Conversion in Europe

Johan Leman, Christiane Stallaert, Iman Lechkar
Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium

The paper focuses on (a) the specific character of the internal ambi-vectoral (supra-)ethnic boundary between secular (Christian) West and Islam in Europe, and on (b) the meaning of conversions from the secular (Christian) field into the practising Islamic field. The laicisation of public space has gone together with processes of desacralisation, de-ritualisation and individualisation of society. Therefore, dynamics of group formation and strategies of boundary making/maintaining, and of control/vigilance based on religious identities are experienced as opposed to the sociocultural orienting vector that guides the dominant secular society. From the 1950s and 1960s onwards, a growing Islamic minority is present in European countries, more specifically concentrating in the larger cities. Because of the social dynamics catalyzed by recent world events, these minority Muslim communities are prevented from immersing themselves completely in the dominant orienting vector of the European societal model , and rather aim at more ritualisation and collectivisation of public space, with a strong focus on strategies of boundary making/maintaining and of control/vigilance. A field of tension has been generated, and the study of conversions into Islam offers an interesting angle of research for understanding the processes at work. Converts leave the societal vector that oriented them during their socialisation and pass into the opposing one. They pass not only a social but, at least partly, also an ethnic boundary. They profile themselves involuntarily as bi-ethnics, but risk to be perceived by the surrounding people at both sides as ethnically ambiguous. First we discuss why we speak of an “ambi-vectoral internal boundary”. There is a profound ambivalence characterizing the boundary, varying from an ‘inclusionary exclusive’ reception culture of the secular West vis-à-vis the Other, to an ‘exclusionary inclusive’ cultural answer proposed by the hegemonic ideology in European Islam vis-à-vis the West. We also examine the ethnic meaning(s) that we give to the communities of Islamic converts in Europe. Our reflections will be supported by findings from Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain. Fundamentally, the paper will analyze the ethnic strategies of boundary passing, ethnic self perception, and heteroperception.

Key Words: Social bodies, ethnic ambiguity, boundary passing

5. Nation-States, Identity Politics, and Crises of Governance in Southwestern Asia

M. Nazif Shahrani
Indiana University, USA

At the dawn of the twenty-first century and after many decades of concerted efforts at building modern nation-states, Muslim countries of Southwestern Asia (Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan) are facing serious crises of governance including state failure. The twentieth century, dubbed by some as the “century of total war” was also the century of the triumph of the nationalization of modern states. That is, for the first time in human history modern nation-states assumed “preeminent roles not only in structuring the situation in which social relationships take place but more significantly in determining what differences are significant for the peoples living under their jurisdiction” (Keyes 2002:1170-71). Furthermore, the nationalization of state discourses, policies, and practices created an environment in which identity politics and ethnicity have not only flourished, but have also given rise to violence and crises of governance, especially in post-colonial and post-Soviet multi-ethnic societies. In this paper I will explore the consequences of the role of this powerful modern institution and its accompanying dominant discourses (secular nationalist, socialist, and Islamist) in fomenting the crises of governance facing these three multi-ethnic Muslim countries of Southwestern Asia. By drawing attention to the need for a transformation of the rule of governance, I will also suggest possible avenues for overcoming the crises of governance in this strategic part of the world.

Key Words: Governance crisis, nationalism, multi-ethnic societies

6. Ethnicity and Nationalism in the Westernization of Japan

Yuki Hirano
Simon Fraser University, Canada

The increase in the size of ethnic minorities in Japan has led to new developments in the discourse of Japanese nationalism. It seems as if increasing interaction between the Japanese and non-Japanese in different contexts is affecting Japanese attitudes toward their own cultural identity. Prime minister Koizumi, past leader of the Republican Party and the first prime minister to support the legal registration of the Japanese army, expressed his sympathies toward Westernization by occasionally wearing cow-boy shirts and Elvis Presley sunglasses. Ishihara, who is serving his eight-year term as mayor of Tokyo, acquired international notoriety for writing "Japan That Can Say No," and often uses derogatory expressions against the Chinese, the French, and the Americans. Japanese comic books (manga), incorporating Disney animation techniques and often expressing anti-nationalist feelings, are now used as a tool by Republican politicians such as Aso, a competitor of the current prime minister, and Ishihara, both of whom flaunt the world-wide success of this new "Japanese cultural treasure" to call for a return of the Olympic Games to Tokyo and to invite more foreign students to Japanese universities. Some hardcore right-wing activists--who worship the Japanese emperor as a "living God"--were bitterly disappointed when the emperor's son, Naruhito, married a Harvard graduate, Masako. And Naruhito himself is not shy about expressing criticism of the imperial system in support of Masako, setting a trend defined as "Americanization/Masakonization." Even a cursory analysis of events and trends recently capturing the attention of Japanese public opinion, clearly indicates that Japanese identity is being affected by the dynamics of social change brought about by globalization. Since Japanese nationalism historically emerged in response to Westernization, are current trends significantly changing its main characteristics? How is Japaneseness defined under the impact of globalizing trends, and is Westernization being incorporated into a new perspective on what it means to be Japanese? And do these definitions translate into a new type of nationalism? This paper will address these questions on the basis of an analysis of nationalist discourse as articulated and expressed in the Japanese media, with particular reference to journalistic reporting.

Key Words: Nationalist discourse, political positioning, journalistic reporting

7. Ethnic Conflict and State Intervention: Colonialism in Motion

Magid Shihade
University of California at Davis, USA

My paper is an attempt to help understand communal violence in the Middle East and contributes to the critical field of ethnic conflict and resolution. This research is important because communal violence is one of the problems that continue to threaten states and undermine regional and global stability. The paper discusses dominant paradigms that explain communal and ethnic violence and draws on case studies from the Middle East and beyond (Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, and India among others), to suggest an alternative framework to explain this phenomenon based on comparative analysis. The approach I develop in this project examines inter-group violence, or state violence against a group, not simply as a historical event but rather as a structure that has ramifications for the present and the future. I argue that studying communal and ethnic violence in the context of the state in which it happens is crucial. My research offers a model for understanding communal violence in relation to the nature of the state, including its historical development, how it relates to the different groups under its authority, and what policies it initiates towards them. It demonstrates how political, social, and historical developments create structures that have long-lasting implications for inter-ethnic and inter-religious group relations, and how these relations in turn can affect the politics of the state, the region, and the international community. The research brings to light the agency of the religious and ethnic groups themselves in contributing to conflict and violence and also to its management and resolution. It contextualizes the problem of communal and ethnic violence within frameworks of colonialism and neocolonialism embedded in modernity and in relation to the racism that plagued colonizer and colonized alike. This research attempts to widen the frame of analysis in the field of ethnic and religious conflict, and also adds to the understanding of the phenomenon of violence, ethnic or religious. This work is crucial not only because of the importance of the Middle East in international politics, but also because it can add to greater understanding of inter-group conflict around the world.

Key Words: Communal violence, modernity, state governance

8. Construction and Representation of Ethnicity: Korean Immigrants in USA, Japan and Russia

Oleg Pakhomov
Kyoto University, Japan

Korean immigrants and probably many other immigrant groups face similar problem of ethnic representation. How to communicate what is culturally different to reach understanding and obtain trust of the “other”? This paper provides an attempt to understand this issue on the basis of the ideas of the German sociologist Niklas Luhmann, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek and French anthropologist Claude Levis-Strauss, by focusing on the general principles (codes) and particularities (programming) of construction and representation of ethnicity of Korean immigrants in the USA, Japan and Russia. We may say, paraphrasing Niklas Luhmann, that the basis of all trust is the presentation of ethnic identity as social identity which builds itself through interaction and which corresponds to its environment. It means that Korean immigrants in the USA, Japan and Russia represent their ethnicity basically in the same way as any social identity represented in the mainstream society. In order to obtain trust they create structural coupling with dominant narratives of this society. As Slavoj Zizek put it, I perceive myself as worthy of the other’s desire. In this paper I try to compare one prominent personality from each community referring first of all to the context and then to the other narratives belonging to the same community and to mainstream society respectively. The examples I selected include Margaret Cho (Korean American stand-up comedian), Daloreum (a Japanese Korean modern female theater ensemble) and Anatoly Kim (a Russian Korean writer) and my aim is to highlight the type of representational structural couplings created in each case.

Key Words: Ethnic representation, immigrant communities, dominant narratives