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The popularity of pornography is predicated on the idea that those participating have given their consent. That is what allows the porn industry to dominate the media economy today, generating staggering sums of money. Looking at behind-the-scenes negotiations and abuses in Japan's adult video industry, author Akiko Takeyama challenges this pervasive notion with the idea of "involuntary consent." This phenomenon, she argues, is ubiquitous, not only in the porn industry, but in our everyday lives. And yet modern society, built on beliefs of autonomy, free choice, and equality, renders it all but invisible. Japan's AV industry alone generates a conservatively estimated $5 billion a year. In recent years, it has drawn public attention, and criticism, because of a series of arrests and trials of former talent agency owners and executives. This led to a report calling for a systematic investigation of the industry over the issue of "forced performance." This report has had ripple effects beyond Japan, as the US Department of State subsequently also cited forced performance as a human rights violation. Using this moment as an entry point, Takeyama argues that contract-making writ large is based on fundamentally dualistic terms, implying consent and pleasure on the one hand, and coercion and pain on the other. Because sex workers are employed on a contract basis, they fall outside of the purview of standard labor and employment laws. As a result, they are frequently pressured to comply with what production companies (mostly run by men) expect and often demand. In this ethnography of Japan's porn industry, Akiko Takeyama investigates the paradox of involuntary consent in modern liberal democratic societies. Taking consent as her starting point, Takeyama illustrates the nuances of contract making and the legal structures, or lack thereof, that govern Japan's adult video and sex entertainment industries.
Once the capital of the five-hundred-year Chosŏn dynasty (1392–1897) and the Taehan Empire (1897–1910), the city of Seoul posed unique challenges to urban reform and modernization under Japanese colonial rule in the early twentieth century, constrained by the labyrinthian built environment of the old Korean capital. Colonial authorities attempted to employ a strategy of "erasure"—monumental Japanese architecture was, for instance, superimposed upon existing palace structures—to articulate to colonized Korean subjects the transition from the pre-modern to the modern, and the naturalization of colonial rule as inevitable historical change. Drawing from and analyzing a wide range of materials, from architecture and photography to print media and sound recordings, City of Sediments shows how Seoul became a site to articulate a new mode of time—modernity—that defined the place of the colonized in accordance with the progression of history, and how the underbelly of the city, latent places of darkness filled with chatters of the alleyway, challenged this visual language of power. To do so, Se-Mi Oh builds an inventive new model of history where discrete events do not unfold one after the other, but rather one in which histories layer atop each other like sediment, allowing a new map of colonial Seoul to emerge, a map where the material traces of the city are overlapping, with vibrant residues of earlier times defiantly visible among the superimposed signs of modernity and colonial domination.
Drawing on a rich set of original oral histories conducted with retired factory workers from industrial centers across the country, this book provides a bottom-up examination of working class participation in factory life during socialist and reform-era China. Huaiyin Li offers a series of new interpretations that challenge, revise, and enrich the existing scholarship on factory politics and worker performance during the Maoist years, including the nature of the Maoist state as seen in the operation of power relations on the shop floor, as well as the origins and dynamics of industrial enterprise reforms in the post-Mao era. In sharp contrast with the ideologically driven goal of promoting grassroots democracy or manifesting workers' status as the masters of the workplace, Li argues that Maoist era state-owned enterprises operated effectively to turn factory workers into a well-disciplined labor force through a complex set of formal and informal institutions that functioned to generate an equilibrium in power relations and work norms. The enterprise reforms of the 1980s and 1990s undermined this preexisting equilibrium, catalyzing the transformation of the industrial workforce from predominantly privileged workers in state-owned enterprises to precarious migrant workers of rural origins hired by private firms. Ultimately, this comprehensive and textured history provides an analytically astute new picture of everyday factory life in the world's largest manufacturing powerhouse.
Guangxi, a region on China's southern border with Vietnam, has a large population of ethnic minorities and a history of rebellion and intergroup conflict. In the summer of 1968, during the high tide of the Cultural Revolution, it became notorious as the site of the most severe and extensive violence observed anywhere in China during that period of upheaval. Several cities saw urban combat resembling civil war, while waves of mass killings in rural communities generated enormous death tolls. More than one hundred thousand died in a few short months. These events have been chronicled in sensational accounts that include horrific descriptions of gruesome murders, sexual violence, and even cannibalism. Only recently have scholars tried to explain why Guangxi was so much more violent than other regions. With evidence from a vast collection of classified materials compiled during an investigation by the Chinese government in the 1980s, this book reconsiders explanations that draw parallels with ethnic cleansing in Rwanda, Bosnia, and other settings. It reveals mass killings as the byproduct of an intense top-down mobilization of rural militia against a stubborn factional insurgency, resembling brutal counterinsurgency campaigns in a variety of settings. Moving methodically through the evidence, Andrew Walder provides a groundbreaking new analysis of one the most shocking chapters of the Cultural Revolution.
Received wisdom has it that Buddhism disappeared from India, the land of its birth, between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, long forgotten until British colonial scholars re-discovered it in the early 1800s. Its full-fledged revival, so the story goes, only occurred in 1956, when the Indian civil rights pioneer Dr. B.R. Ambedkar converted to Buddhism along with half a million of his Dalit (formerly "untouchable") followers. This, however, is only part of the story. Dust on the Throne reframes discussions about the place of Buddhism in the subcontinent from the early nineteenth century onwards, uncovering the integral, yet unacknowledged, role that Indians played in the making of modern global Buddhism in the century prior to Ambedkar's conversion, and the numerous ways that Buddhism gave powerful shape to modern Indian history. Through an extensive examination of disparate materials held at archives and temples across South Asia, Douglas Ober explores Buddhist religious dynamics in an age of expanding colonial empires, intra-Asian connectivity, and the histories of Buddhism produced by nineteenth and twentieth century Indian thinkers. While Buddhism in contemporary India is often disparaged as being little more than tattered manuscripts and crumbling ruins, this book opens new avenues for understanding its substantial socio-political impact and intellectual legacy.
A provocative new account of how India moved relentlessly from its hope-filled founding in 1947 to the dramatic economic and democratic breakdowns of today. When Indian leaders first took control of their government in 1947, they proclaimed the ideals of national unity and secular democracy. Through the first half century of nation-building, leaders could point to uneven but measurable progress on key goals, and after the mid-1980s, dire poverty declined for a few decades, inspiring declarations of victory. But today, a vast majority of Indians live in a state of underemployment and are one crisis away from despair. Public goods—health, education, cities, air and water, and the judiciary—are in woeful condition. And good jobs will remain scarce as long as that is the case. The lack of jobs will further undermine democracy, which will further undermine job creation. India is Broken provides the most persuasive account available of this economic catch-22. Challenging prevailing narratives, Mody contends that successive post-independence leaders, starting with its first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, failed to confront India's true economic problems, seeking easy solutions instead. As a popular frustration grew, and corruption in politics became pervasive, India's economic growth relied increasingly on unregulated finance and environmentally destructive construction. The rise of a violent Hindutva has buried all prior norms in civic life and public accountability. Combining statistical data with creative media, such as literature and cinema, to create strong, accessible, people-driven narratives, this book is a meditation on the interplay between democracy and economic progress, with lessons extending far beyond India. Mody proposes a path forward that is fraught with its own peril, but which nevertheless offers something resembling hope.
India imposes stringent criminal penalties, including life imprisonment in some states, for cow slaughter, based on a Hindu ethic of revering the cow as sacred. And yet India is among the world's leading producers of beef, leather, and milk, industries sustained by the mass slaughter of bovines. What is behind this seeming contradiction? What do bovines, deemed holy in Hinduism, experience in the Indian milk and beef industries? Yamini Narayanan asks and answers these questions, introducing cows and buffaloes as key subjects in India's cow protectionism, rather than their treatment hitherto as mere objects of political analysis. Emphasizing human–animal hierarchical relations, Narayanan argues that the Hindu framing of the cow as "mother" is one of human domination, wherein bovine motherhood is simultaneously capitalized for dairy production and weaponized by right-wing Hindu nationalists to violently oppress Muslims and Dalits. Using ethnographic and empirical data gathered across India, this book reveals the harms caused to buffaloes, cows, bulls, and calves in dairying, and the exploitation required of the diverse, racialized labor throughout India's dairy production continuum to obscure such violence. Ultimately, Narayanan traces how the unraveling of human domination and exploitation of farmed animals is integral to progressive multispecies democratic politics, speculating on the real possibility of a post-dairy society, based on vegan agricultural policies for livelihoods and food security.
Unruly Speech explores how Uyghurs in China and in the diaspora transgress sociopolitical limits with "unruly" communication practices in a quest for change. Drawing on research in China, the United States, and Germany, Saskia Witteborn situates her study against the backdrop of displacement and shows how naming practices and witness accounts become potent ways of resistance in everyday interactions and in global activism. Featuring the voices of Uyghurs from three continents, Unruly Speech analyzes the discursive and material force of place names, social media, surveillance, and the link between witnessing and the discourse on human rights. The book provides a granular view of disruptive communication: its global political moorings and socio-technical control. The rich ethnographic study will appeal to audiences interested in migration and displacement, language and social interaction, advocacy, digital surveillance, and a transnational China.
This book captures an epochal juncture of two of the world's most transformative processes: the People's Republic of China's rapidly expanding sphere of influence across the global south and the disintegration of the Amazonian, Cerrado, and Andean biomes. The intersection of these two processes took another step in April 2020, when Chinese President Xi Jinping launched a "New Health Silk Road" agenda of aid and investment that would wind through South America, extending the Eurasian-African "Belt and Road Initiative" to a series of mine, port, energy, infrastructure, and agrobusiness megaprojects in the Latin American tropics. Through thirty short essays, this volume brings together an impressive array of contributors, from economists, anthropologists, and political scientists to Black, feminist, and Indigenous community organizers, Chinese stakeholders, environmental activists, and local journalists to offer a pathbreaking analysis of China's presence in South America. As cracks in the progressive legacy of the Pink Tide and the failures of ecocidal right-wing populisms shape new political economies and geopolitical possibilities, this book provides a grassroots-based account of a post-US centered world order, and an accompanying map of the stakes for South America that highlights emerging voices and forms of resistance.
China is unique in modern world history. No other rising power has experienced China's turbulent history in its relations with neighbors and Western countries. Its sheer size dominates the region. With leader Xi Jinping's political authority unmatched, Xi's sense of mission to restore what he believes is China's natural position as a great power drives the current course of the nation's foreign policy. When China was weak, it was subordinated to others. Now, China is strong, and it wants others to subordinate, at least on the issues involving what it regards as core national interests. What are the primary forces and how have these forces driven China's reemergence to global power? This book weaves together complex events, processes, and players to provide a historically in-depth, conceptually comprehensive, and up-to-date analysis of Chinese foreign policy transition since the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC), arguing that transformational leaders with new visions and political wisdom to make their visions prevail are the game changers. Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and Xi Jinping are transformational leaders who have charted unique courses of Chinese foreign policy in the quest for security, prosperity, and power. With the ultimate decision-making authority on national security and strategic policies, these leaders have made political use of ideational forces, tailoring bureaucratic institutions, exploiting the international power distribution, and responding strategically to the international norms and rules to advance their foreign policy agendas in the path of China's ascendance.
Commercial dating agencies that facilitate marriages across national borders comprise a $2.5 billion global industry. Ideas about the industry are rife with stereotypes—younger, more physically attractive brides from non-Western countries being paired with older Western men. These ideas are more myth than fact, Monica Liu finds in Seeking Western Men. Her study of China's email-order bride industry offers stories of Chinese women who are primarily middle-aged, divorced, and proactively seeking spouses to fulfill their material and sexual needs. What they seek in their Western partners is tied to what they believe they've lost in the shifting global economy around them. Ranging from multimillionaire entrepreneurs or ex-wives and mistresses of wealthy Chinese businessmen, to contingent sector workers and struggling single mothers, these women, along with their translators and potential husbands from the US, Canada, and Australia, make up the actors in this multifaceted story. Set against the backdrop of China's global economic ascendance and a relative decline of the West, this book asks: How does this reshape Chinese women's perception of Western masculinity? Through the unique window of global internet dating, this book reveals the shifting relationships of race, class, gender, sex, and intimacy across borders.
This book offers the first social and intellectual history of Dalit performance of Tamasha—a popular form of public, secular, traveling theater in Maharashtra—and places Dalit Tamasha women who represented the desire and disgust of the patriarchal society at the heart of modernization in twentieth century India. Drawing on ethnographies, films, and untapped archival materials, Shailaja Paik illuminates how Tamasha was produced and shaped through conflicts over caste, gender, sexuality, and culture. Dalit performers, activists, and leaders negotiated the violence and stigma in Tamasha as they struggled to claim manuski (human dignity) and transform themselves from ashlil (vulgar) to assli (authentic) and manus (human beings). Building on and departing from the Ambedkar-centered historiography and movement-focused approach of Dalit studies, Paik examines the ordinary and everydayness in Dalit lives. Ultimately, she demonstrates how the choices that communities make about culture speak to much larger questions about inclusion, inequality, and structures of violence of caste within Indian society, and opens up new approaches for the transformative potential of Dalit politics and the global history of gender, sexuality, and the human.
From its rise in the 1830s to its pinnacle in the 1930s, the opium trade was a guiding force in the Chinese political economy. Opium money was inextricably bound up in local, national, and imperial finances, and the people who piloted the trade were integral to the fabric of Chinese society. In this book, Peter Thilly narrates the dangerous lives and shrewd business operations of opium traffickers in southeast China, situating them within a global history of capitalism. By tracing the evolution of the opium trade from clandestine offshore agreements in the 1830s, to multi-million dollar prohibition bureau contracts in the 1930s, Thilly demonstrates how the modernizing Chinese state was infiltrated, manipulated, and profoundly transformed by opium profiteers. Opium merchants carried the drug by sea, over mountains, and up rivers, with leading traders establishing monopolies over trade routes and territories and assembling "opium armies" to protect their businesses. Over time, and as their ranks grew, these organizations became more bureaucratized and militarized, mimicking—and then eventually influencing, infiltrating, or supplanting—the state. Through the chaos of revolution, warlordism, and foreign invasion, opium traders diligently expanded their power through corruption, bribery, and direct collaboration with the state. Drug traders mattered—not only in the seedy ways in which they have been caricatured but also crucially as shadowy architects of statecraft and China's evolution on the world stage.
Delhi, one of the world's largest cities, has faced momentous challenges—mass migration, competing governing authorities, controversies over citizenship, and communal violence. To understand the contemporary plight of India's capital city, this book revisits one of the most dramatic episodes in its history, telling the story of how the city was remade by the twin events of partition and independence. Treating decolonization as a process that unfolded from the late 1930s into the mid-1950, Rotem Geva traces how India and Pakistan became increasingly territorialized in the imagination and practice of the city's residents, how violence and displacement were central to this process, and how tensions over belonging and citizenship lingered in the city and the nation. She also chronicles the struggle, after 1947, between the urge to democratize political life in the new republic and the authoritarian legacy of colonial rule, augmented by the imperative to maintain law and order in the face of the partition crisis. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Geva reveals the period from the late 1930s to the mid-1950s as a twilight time, combining features of imperial framework and independent republic. Geva places this liminality within the broader global context of the dissolution of multiethnic and multireligious empires into nation-states and argues for an understanding of state formation as a contest between various lines of power, charting the links between different levels of political struggle and mobilization during the churning early years of independence in Delhi.
The rural county of Poyang, lying in northern Jiangxi Province, goes largely unmentioned in the annals of modern Chinese history. Yet records from the Public Security Bureau archive hold a treasure trove of data on the every day interactions between locals and the law. Drawing on these largely overlooked resources, Tiger, Tyrant, Bandit, Businessman follows four criminal cases that together uniquely illuminate the dawning years of the People's Republic. Using a unique casefile approach, Brian DeMare recounts stories of a Confucian scholar who found himself allied with bandits and secret society members; a farmer who murdered a cadre; an evil tyrant who exploited religious traditions to avoid prosecution; and a merchant accused of a crime he did not commit. Each case is a tremendous tale, complete with memorable characters, plot twists, and drama. And while all depict the enemies of New China, each also reveals details of village life during this most pivotal moment of recent Chinese history. Together, the narratives bring rural regime change to life, illustrating how the Chinese Communist Party cemented its authority through mass political campaigns, careful legal investigations, and sheer patience. Balancing storytelling with historical inquiry, this book is at once a grassroots view of rural China's legal system and its application to apparent counterrevolutionaries, and a lesson in archival research itself.
China after Mao has undergone vast transformations, including massive rural-to-urban migration, rising divorce rates, and the steady expansion of the country's legal system. Today, divorce may appear a private concern, when in fact it is a profoundly political matter—especially in a national context where marriage was and has continued to be a key vehicle for nation-state building. Marriage Unbound focuses on the politics of divorce cases in contemporary China, following a group of women seeking judicial remedies for conjugal grievances and disputes. Drawing on extensive archival and ethnographic data, paired with unprecedented access to rural Chinese courtrooms, Ke Li presents not only a stirring portrayal of how these women navigate divorce litigation, but also a uniquely in-depth account of the modern Chinese legal system. With sensitive and fluid prose, Li reveals the struggles between the powerful and the powerless at the front lines of dispute management; the complex interplay between culture and the state; and insidious statecraft that far too often sacrifices women's rights and interests. Ultimately, this book shows how women's legal mobilization and rights contention can forge new ground for our understanding of law, politics, and inequality in an authoritarian regime.
How do the worlds that state administrators manage become the feelings publics embody? In Administering Affect, Daniel White addresses this question by documenting the rise of a new national figure he calls "Pop-Culture Japan." Emerging in the wake of Japan's dramatic economic decline in the early 1990s, Pop-Culture Japan reflected the hopes of Japanese state bureaucrats and political elites seeking to recover their country's standing on the global stage. White argues that due to growing regional competitiveness and geopolitical tension in East Asia in recent decades, Japan's state bureaucrats increasingly targeted political anxiety as a national problem and built a new national image based on pop-culture branding as a remedy. Based on sixteen months of ethnographic fieldwork among rarely accessible government bureaucrats, Administering Affect examines the fascinating connection between state administration and public sentiment. White analyzes various creative policy figures of Pop-Culture Japan, such as anime diplomats, "Cool Japan" branding campaigns, and the so-called "Ambassadors of Cute," in order to illustrate a powerful link between practices of managing national culture and the circulation of anxiety among Japanese publics. Invoking the term "administering affect" to illustrate how anxiety becomes a bureaucratic target, technique, and unintended consequence of promoting Japan's national popular culture, the book presents an ethnographic portrait of the at-times surprisingly emotional lives of Japan's state bureaucrats. In examining how anxious feelings come to drive policymaking, White delivers an intimate anthropological analysis of the affective forces interconnecting state governance, popular culture, and national identity.
A new picture of China's rise since the Age of Exploration and its historical impact on the modern world. The establishment of the Great Ming dynasty in 1368 was a monumental event in world history. A century before Columbus, Beijing sent a series of diplomatic missions across the South China Sea and Indian Ocean that paved the way for China's first modern global era. 1368 maps China's ascendance from the embassies of Admiral Zheng He to the arrival of European mariners and the shock of the Opium Wars. In Ali Humayun Akhtar's new picture of world history, China's current rise evokes an earlier epoch, one that sheds light on where Beijing is heading today. Spectacular accounts in Persian and Ottoman Turkish describe palaces of silk and jade in Beijing's Forbidden City. Malay legends recount stories of Chinese princesses arriving in Melaka with gifts of porcelain and gold. During Europe's Age of Exploration, Iberian mariners charted new passages to China, which the Dutch and British East India Companies transformed into lucrative tea routes. But during the British Industrial Revolution, the rise of steam engines and factories allowed the export of the very commodities once imported from China. By the end of the Opium Wars and the arrival of Commodore Perry in Japan, Chinese and Japanese reformers called for their own industrial revolutions to propel them into the twentieth century. What has the world learned from China since the Ming, and how did China reemerge in the 1970s as a manufacturing superpower? Akhtar's book provides much-needed context for understanding China's rise today and the future of its connections with both the West and a resurgent Asia.
Enacting the Security Community illuminates the central role of discourse in the making of security communities through a case study of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Despite decades of discussion, scholars of political science and international relations have long struggled to identify what kind of security community ASEAN is striving to become. Talk about security, Stéphanie Martel argues in this innovative study, is more than empty rhetoric. It is precisely through discourse that ASEAN is brought into being as a security community. Martel analyzes the epic narratives that state and non-state actors tell about ASEAN's journey to becoming a security community, featuring a colorful cast of heroes and monsters. Chapters address a wide spectrum of current regional security concerns, from the South China Sea disputes to the Rohingya crisis, and nontraditional challenges like natural disasters and pandemics. Through fieldwork and in-depth interviews with practitioners, Martel provides clear evidence that discourse is key to sustaining regional organizations like ASEAN. Enacting the Security Community is an incisive contribution to debates among scholars and practitioners about security communities as well as the role of discourse in the study of world politics, and essential reading for students of Southeast Asian international relations, politics, and security.
In the last 30 years, Delhi, the capital of India, has displaced over 1.5 million poor people. Resettlement and welfare services are available—but exclusively so, as the city deems much of the population ineligible for civic benefits. The Right to Be Counted examines how Delhi's urban poor, in an effort to gain visibility from the local state, incrementally stake their claims to a house and life in the city. Contributing to debates about the contradictions of state governmentality and the citizenship projects of the poor in Delhi, this book explores social suffering, logistics, and the logic of political mobilizations that emanate from processes of displacement and resettlement. Sanjeev Routray draws upon fieldwork conducted in various low-income neighborhoods throughout the 2010s to describe the process of claims-making as an attempt by the political community of the poor to assert its existence and numerical strength, and demonstrates how this struggle to be counted constitutes the systematic, protracted, and incremental political process by which the poor claim their substantive entitlements and become entrenched in the city. Analyzing various social, political, and economic relationships, as well as kinship networks and solidarity linkages across the political and social spectrum, this book traces the ways the poor work to gain a foothold in Delhi and establish agency for themselves.
The global electronics industry is one of the most innovation-driven and technology-intensive sectors in the contemporary world economy. From semiconductors to end products, complex transnational production and value-generating activities have integrated diverse macro-regions and national economies worldwide into the "interconnected worlds" of global electronics. This book argues that the current era of interconnected worlds started in the early 1990s when electronics production moved from systems dominated by lead firms in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan towards increasingly globalized and cross-macro-regional electronics manufacturing centered in East Asia. By the 2010s, this co-evolution of production network complexity transformed global electronics, through which lead firms from South Korea, Taiwan, and China integrated East Asia into the interconnected worlds of electronics production across the globe. Drawing on literature on the electronics industry, new empirical material comprising custom datasets, and extensive personal interviews, this book examines through a "network" approach the co-evolution of globalized electronics production centered in East Asia across different national economies and sub-national regions. With comprehensive analysis up to 2021, Yeung analyzes the geographical configurations ("where"), organizational strategies ("how"), and causal drivers ("why") of global production networks, setting a definitive benchmark into the dynamic transformations in global electronics and other globalized industries. The book will serve as a crucial resource for academic and policy research, offering a conceptual, empirically driven grounding in the theory of these networks that has become highly influential across the social sciences.
The story of how one ethnic neighborhood came to signify a shared Korean American identity. At the turn of the twenty-first century, Los Angeles County's Korean population stood at about 186,000—the largest concentration of Koreans outside of Asia. Most of this growth took place following the passage of the Hart-Celler Act of 1965, which dramatically altered US immigration policy and ushered in a new era of mass immigration, particularly from Asia and Latin America. By the 1970s, Korean immigrants were seeking to turn the area around Olympic Boulevard near downtown Los Angeles into a full-fledged "Koreatown," and over the following decades, they continued to build a community in LA. As Korean immigrants seized the opportunity to purchase inexpensive commercial and residential property and transformed the area to serve their community's needs, other minority communities in nearby South LA—notably Black and Latino working-class communities—faced increasing segregation, urban poverty, and displacement. Beginning with the early development of LA's Koreatown and culminating with the 1992 Los Angeles riots and their aftermath, Shelley Sang-Hee Lee demonstrates how Korean Americans' lives were shaped by patterns of racial segregation and urban poverty, and legacies of anti-Asian racism and orientalism. Koreatown, Los Angeles tells the story of an American ethnic community often equated with socioeconomic achievement and assimilation, but whose experiences as racial minorities and immigrant outsiders illuminate key economic and cultural developments in the United States since 1965. Lee argues that building Koreatown was an urgent objective for Korean immigrants and US-born Koreans eager to carve out a spatial niche within Los Angeles to serve as an economic and social anchor for their growing community. More than a dot on a map, Koreatown holds profound emotional significance for Korean immigrants across the nation as a symbol of their shared bonds and place in American society.
What should South Korean offices look like in a post-hierarchical world? In Supercorporate, anthropologist Michael M. Prentice examines a central tension in visions of big corporate life in South Korea's twenty-first century: should corporations be sites of fair distinction or equal participation? As South Korea distances itself from images and figures of a hierarchical past, Prentice argues that the drive to redefine the meaning of corporate labor echoes a central ambiguity around corporate labor today. Even as corporations remain idealized sites of middle-class aspiration in South Korea, employees are torn over whether they want greater recognition for their work or meaningful forms of cooperation. Through an in-depth ethnography of the Sangdo Group conglomerate, the book examines how managers attempt to perfect corporate social life through new office programs while also minimizing the risks of creating new hierarchies. Ultimately, this book reveals how office life is a battleground for working out the promises and the perils of economic democratization in one of East Asia's most dynamic countries.
A strike pattern is a signature of violence carved into the land—bomb craters or fragments of explosives left behind, forgotten. In Strike Patterns, poet and anthropologist Leah Zani journeys to a Lao river community where people live alongside such relics of a secret war. With sensitive and arresting prose, Zani reveals the layered realities that settle atop one another in Laos—from its French colonial history to today's authoritarian state—all blown open by the war. This excavation of postwar life's balance between the mundane, the terrifying, and the extraordinary propels Zani to confront her own explosive past. From 1964 to 1973, the United States carried out a covert air war against Laos. Frequently overshadowed by the war with Vietnam, the Secret War was the longest and most intense air war in history. As Zani uncovers this hidden legacy, she finds herself immersed in the lives of her hosts: Chantha, a daughter of war refugees who grapples with her place in a future Laos of imagined prosperity; Channarong, a bomb technician whose Thai origins allow him to stand apart from the battlefields he clears; and Bounmi, a young man who has inherited his bomb expertise from his father but now struggles to imagine a similar future for his unborn son. Wandering through their lives are the restless ghosts of kin and strangers. Today, much of Laos remains contaminated with dangerous leftover explosives. Despite its obscurity, the Secret War has become a shadow model for modern counterinsurgency. Investigating these shadows of war, Zani spends time with silk weavers and rice farmers, bomb clearance crews and black market war scrap traders, ritual healers and survivors of explosions. Combining her fieldnotes with poetry, fiction, and memoir she reflects on the power of building new lives in the ruins.
While popular trends, cuisine, and long-standing political tension have made Korea familiar in some ways to a vast English-speaking world, its recorded history of some two millennia remains unfamiliar to most. Korea: A History addresses general readers, providing an up-to-date, accessible overview of Korean history from antiquity to the present. Eugene Y. Park draws on original-language sources and the up-to-date synthesis of East Asian and Western-language scholarship to provide an insightful account. This book expands still-limited English-language discussions on pre-modern Korea, offering rigorous and compelling analyses of Korea's modernization while discussing daily life, ethnic minorities, LGBTQ history, and North Korean history not always included in Korea surveys. Overall, Park is able to break new ground on questions and debates that have been central to the field of Korean studies since its inception.
When the Berlin Wall fell, Germany united in a wave of euphoria and solidarity. Also caught in the current were Vietnamese border crossers who had left their homeland after its reunification in 1975. Unwilling to live under socialism, one group resettled in West Berlin as refugees. In the name of socialist solidarity, a second group arrived in East Berlin as contract workers. The Border Within paints a vivid portrait of these disparate Vietnamese migrants' encounters with each other in the post-socialist city of Berlin. Journalists, scholars, and Vietnamese border crossers themselves consider these groups that left their homes under vastly different conditions to be one people, linked by an unquestionable ethnic nationhood. Phi Hong Su's rigorous ethnography unpacks this intuition. In absorbing prose, Su reveals how these Cold War compatriots enact palpable social boundaries in everyday life. This book uncovers how 20th-century state formation and international migration—together, border crossings—generate enduring migrant classifications. In doing so, border crossings fracture shared ethnic, national, and religious identities in enduring ways.
An untold story that reshapes our understanding of Chinese and Tibetan history From 1956 to 1962, devastating military conflicts took place in China's southwestern and northwestern regions. Official record at the time scarcely made mention of the campaign, and in the years since only lukewarm acknowledgment of the violence has surfaced. When the Iron Bird Flies, by Jianglin Li, breaks this decades long silence to reveal for the first time a comprehensive and explosive picture of the six years that would prove definitive in modern Tibetan and Chinese history. The CCP referred to the campaign as "suppressing the Tibetan rebellion." It would lead to the 14th Dalai Lama's exile in India, as well as the Tibetan diaspora in 1959, though the battles lasted three additional years after these events. Featuring key figures in modern Chinese history, the battles waged in this period covered a vast geographical region. This book offers a portrait of chaos, deception, heroism, and massive loss. Beyond the significant death toll across the Tibetan regions, the war also destroyed most Tibetan monasteries in a concerted effort to eradicate local religion and scholarship. Despite being considered a military success, to this day, the operations in the agricultural regions remain unknown. As large numbers of Tibetans have self-immolated in recent years to protest Chinese occupation, Li shows that the largest number of cases occurred in the sites most heavily affected by this hidden war. She argues persuasively that the events described in this book will shed more light on our current moment, and will help us understand the unrelenting struggle of the Tibetan people for their freedom.
A symbol of the "new Japan" displayed at World's Fairs, depicted in travel posters, and celebrated as the product of a national spirit of innovation, the Tōkaidō Shinkansen—the first bullet train, dubbed the "dream super-express"—represents the bold aspirations of a nation rebranding itself after military defeat, but also the deep problems caused by the unbridled postwar drive for economic growth. At the dawn of the space age, how could a train become such an important symbol? In Dream Super-Express, Jessamyn Abel contends that understanding the various, often contradictory, images of the bullet train reveals how infrastructure operates beyond its intended use as a means of transportation to perform cultural and sociological functions. The multi-layered dreams surrounding this high-speed railway tell a history not only of nation-building but of resistance and disruption. Though it constituted neither a major technological leap nor a new infrastructural connection, the train enchanted, enthralled, and enraged government officials, media pundits, community activists, novelists, and filmmakers. This history of imaginations around the monumental rail system resists the commonplace story of progress to consider the tug-of-war over the significance of the new line. Is it a vision of the future or a reminder of the past, an object of international admiration or a formidable threat? Does it enable new relationships and identities or reify existing social hierarchies? Tracing the meanings assigned to high-speed rail shows how it prompted a reimagination of identity on the levels of individual, metropolis, and nation in a changing Japan.
As China and the U.S. increasingly compete for power in key areas of U.S. influence, great power conflict looms. Yet few studies have looked to the Middle East and Africa, regions of major political, economic, and military importance for both China and the U.S., to theorize how China competes in a changing world system. China's Rise in the Global South examines China's behavior as a rising power in two key Global South regions, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. Dawn C. Murphy, drawing on extensive fieldwork and hundreds of interviews, compares and analyzes thirty years of China's interactions with these regions across a range of functional areas: political, economic, foreign aid, and military. From the Belt and Road initiative to the founding of new cooperation forums and special envoys, China's Rise in the Global South offers an in-depth look at China's foreign policy approach to the countries it considers its partners in South-South cooperation. Intervening in the emerging debate between liberals and realists about China's future as a great power, Murphy contends that China is constructing an alternate international order to interact with these regions, and this book provides policymakers and scholars of international relations with the tools to analyze it.
Precarious Asia assesses the role of global and domestic factors in shaping precarious work and its outcomes in Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia as they represent a range of Asian political democracies and capitalist economies: Japan and South Korea are now developed and mature economies, while Indonesia remains a lower-middle income country. With their established backgrounds in Asian studies, comparative political economy, social stratification and inequality, and the sociology of work, the authors yield compelling insights into the extent and consequences of precarious work, examining the dynamics underlying its rise. By linking macrostructural policies to both the mesostructure of labor relations and the microstructure of outcomes experienced by individual workers, they reveal the interplay of forces that generate precarious work, and in doing so, synthesize historical and institutional analyses with the political economy of capitalism and class relations. This book reveals how precarious work ultimately contributes to increasingly high levels of inequality and condemns segments of the population to chronic poverty and many more to livelihood and income vulnerability.
From the 1920s to the eve of the Pacific War in 1941, more than 50,000 young second-generation Japanese Americans (Nisei) embarked on transpacific journeys to the Japanese Empire, putting an ocean between themselves and pervasive anti-Asian racism in the American West. Born U.S. citizens but treated as unwelcome aliens, this contingent of Japanese Americans—one in four U.S.-born Nisei—came in search of better lives but instead encountered a world shaped by increasingly volatile relations between the U.S. and Japan. Based on transnational and bilingual research in the United States and Japan, Michael R. Jin recuperates the stories of this unique group of American emigrants at the crossroads of U.S. and Japanese empire. From the Jim Crow American West to the Japanese colonial frontiers in Asia, and from internment camps in America to Hiroshima on the eve of the atomic bombing, these individuals redefined ideas about home, identity, citizenship, and belonging as they encountered multiple social realities on both sides of the Pacific. Citizens, Immigrants, and the Stateless examines the deeply intertwined histories of Asian exclusion in the United States, Japanese colonialism in Asia, and volatile geopolitical changes in the Pacific world that converged in the lives of Japanese American migrants.
Throughout history, speech and storytelling have united communities and mobilized movements. Protestant Textuality and the Tamil Modern examines this phenomenon in Tamil-speaking South India over the last three centuries, charting the development of political oratory and its influence on society. Supplementing his narrative with thorough archival work, Bernard Bate begins with Protestant missionaries' introduction of the sermonic genre and takes the reader through its local vernacularization. What originally began as a format of religious speech became an essential political infrastructure used to galvanize support for new social imaginaries, from Indian independence to Tamil nationalism. Completed by a team of Bate's colleagues, this ethnography marries linguistic anthropology to performance studies and political history, illuminating new geographies of belonging in the modern era.
A new strain of coronavirus emerged sometime in November 2019, and within weeks a cluster of patients began to be admitted to hospitals in Wuhan with severe pneumonia, most of them linked to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. China's seemingly effective containment of the first stage of the epidemic, in glaring contrast with the uncontrolled spread in Europe and the United States, was heralded as a testament to the Chinese Communist Party's unparalleled command over the biomedical sciences, population, and economy. Conversely, much academic and public debate about the origins of the virus focuses on the supposedly "backwards" cultural practice of consuming wild animals and the perceived problem of authoritarianism suppressing information about the outbreak until it was too late. The Origins of COVID-19, by Li Zhang, shifts debate away from narrow cultural, political, or biomedical frameworks, emphasizing that we must understand the origins of emerging diseases with pandemic potential (such as SARS and COVID-19) in the more complex and structural entanglements of state-making, science and technology, and global capitalism. She argues that both narratives, that of China's victory and the racist depictions of its culpability, do not address—and even aggravate—these larger forces that degrade the environment and increase the human-wildlife interface through which novel pathogens spill over into humans and may rapidly expand into global pandemics.
There is a tendency to think of Korean American literature—and Asian American literature writ large—as a field of study involving only two spaces, the United States and Korea, with the same being true in Asian studies of Korean Japanese (Zainichi) literature involving only Japan and Korea. This book posits that both fields have to account for three spaces: Korean American literature has to grapple with the legacy of Japanese imperialism in the United States, and Zainichi literature must account for American interventions in Japan. Comparing Korean American authors such as Younghill Kang, Chang-rae Lee, Ronyoung Kim, and Min Jin Lee with Zainichi authors such as Kaneshiro Kazuki, Yi Yang-ji, and Kim Masumi, Minor Transpacific uncovers their hidden dialogue and imperial concordances, revealing the trajectory and impact of both bodies of work. Minor Transpacific bridges the fields of Asian studies and Asian American studies to unveil new connections between Zainichi and Korean American literatures. Working in Japanese and English, David S. Roh builds a theoretical framework for articulating those moments of contact between minority literatures in a third national space and proposes a new way of conceptualizing Asian American literature.
In the mid-1990s, experts predicted that India would face the world's biggest AIDS epidemic by 2000. Though a crisis at this scale never fully materialized, global public health institutions, donors, and the Indian state initiated a massive effort to prevent it. HIV prevention programs channeled billions of dollars toward those groups designated as at-risk—sex workers and men who have sex with men. At Risk captures this unique moment in which these criminalized and marginalized groups reinvented their "at-risk" categorization and became central players in the crisis response. The AIDS crisis created a contradictory, conditional, and temporary opening for sex-worker and LGBTIQ activists to renegotiate citizenship and to make demands on the state. Working across India and Kenya, Gowri Vijayakumar provides a fine-grained account of the political struggles at the heart of the Indian AIDS response. These range from everyday articulations of sexual identity in activist organizations in Bangalore to new approaches to HIV prevention in Nairobi, where prevention strategies first introduced in India are adapted and circulate, as in the global AIDS field more broadly. Vijayakumar illuminates how the politics of gender, sexuality, and nationalism shape global crisis response. In so doing, she considers the precarious potential for social change in and after a crisis.
The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is iconic in the landscape of Indian healthcare. Established in the early years of independence, this enormous public teaching hospital rapidly gained fame for the high-quality treatment it offered at a nominal cost; at present, an average of ten thousand patients pass through the outpatient department each day. With its notorious medical program acceptance rate of less than 0.01%, AIIMS also sits at the apex of Indian medical education. To be trained as a doctor here is to be considered the best. In what way does this enduring reputation of excellence shape the institution's ethos? How does elite medical education sustain India's social hierarchies and the health inequalities entrenched within? In the first-ever ethnography of AIIMS, Anna Ruddock considers prestige as a byproduct of norms attached to ambition, aspiration, caste, and class in modern India, and illustrates how the institution's reputation affects its students' present experiences and future career choices. Ruddock untangles the threads of intellectual exceptionalism, social and power stratification, and health inequality that are woven into the health care taught and provided at AIIMS, asking what is lost when medicine is used not as a social equalizer but as a means to cultivate and maintain prestige.
Far from always having been an isolated nation and a pariah state in the international community, North Korea exercised significant influence among Third World nations during the Cold War era. With one foot in the socialist Second World and the other in the anticolonial Third World, North Korea occupied a unique position as both a postcolonial nation and a Soviet client state, and sent advisors to assist African liberation movements, trained anti-imperialist guerilla fighters, and completed building projects in developing countries. State-run media coverage of events in the Third World shaped the worldview of many North Koreans and helped them imagine a unified anti-imperialist front that stretched from the boulevards of Pyongyang to the streets of the Gaza Strip and the beaches of Cuba. This book tells the story of North Korea's transformation in the Third World from model developmental state to reckless terrorist nation, and how Pyongyang's actions, both in the Third World and on the Korean peninsula, ultimately backfired against the Kim family regime's foreign policy goals. Based on multinational and multi-archival research, this book examines the intersection of North Korea's domestic and foreign policies and the ways in which North Korea's developmental model appealed to the decolonizing world.
Between 1946 and 1952, the British Raj, the world's largest colony, was transformed into the Republic of India, the world's largest democracy. Independence, the Constituent Assembly Debates, the founding of the Republic, and India's first universal franchise general election occurred amidst the violence and displacement of the Partition, the uncertain and contested integration of the princely states, and the forceful quelling of internal dissent. This book investigates the ways in which these violent conjunctures constituted a postcolonial regime of sovereignty and shaped the historical development of democracy in India at the foundational moment of decolonization and national independence. From Raj to Republic presents a multifaceted history of sovereignty and democracy in India by linking together the princely state of Hyderabad's attempt to establish itself as an independent sovereign state, the partitioning of Punjab, and the communist-led revolutionary movement in the southern Indian region of Telangana. A national, territorial, republican, and liberal polity in India emerged out of a violent and contested process that forged new power relations and opened up historical trajectories with lasting consequences for modern India.
Despite widespread consensus that China's digital revolution was sure to bring about massive democratic reforms, such changes have not come to pass. While scholars and policy makers alternate between predicting change and disparaging a stubbornly authoritarian regime, in this book Shaohua Guo demonstrates how this dichotomy misses the far more complex reality. The Evolution of the Chinese Internet traces the emergence and maturation of one of the most creative digital cultures in the world through four major technological platforms: the bulletin board system, the blog, the microblog, and WeChat. Guo transcends typical binaries of freedom and control, to argue that Chinese Internet culture displays a uniquely sophisticated interplay between multiple extremes, and that its vibrancy is dependent on these complex negotiations. In contrast to the flourishing of research findings on what is made invisible online, this book examines the driving mechanisms that grant visibility to particular kinds of user-generated content. Offering a systematic account of how and why an ingenious Internet culture has been able to thrive, Guo highlights the pivotal roles that media institutions, technological platforms, and creative practices of Chinese netizens have played in shaping culture on- and offline.
A Financial Times Best Book of the Year The first book that examines India's mega-publicity campaigns to theorize the global transformation of the nation-state into an attractive investment destination. The early twenty-first century was an optimistic moment of global futures-making. The chief narrative was the emergence of the BRICS nations—leading stars in the great spectacle of capitalist growth stories, branded afresh as resource-rich hubs of untapped talent and potential, and newly opened up for foreign investments. The old third-world nations were rapidly embracing the script of unbridled capitalism in the hope of arriving on the world stage. If the tantalizing promise of economic growth invited entrepreneurs to invest in the nation's exciting futures, it offered utopian visions of "good times," and even restoration of lost national glory, to the nation's citizens. Brand New Nation reaches into the past and, inevitably, the future of this phenomenon as well as the fundamental shifts it has wrought in our understanding of the nation-state. It reveals the on-the-ground experience of the relentless transformation of the nation-state into an "attractive investment destination" for global capital. As Ravinder Kaur provocatively argues, the brand new nation is not a mere nineteenth century re-run. It has come alive as a unified enclosure of capitalist growth and nationalist desire in the twenty-first century. Today, to be deemed an attractive nation-brand in the global economy is to be affirmed as a proper nation. The infusion of capital not only rejuvenates the nation; it also produces investment-fueled nationalism, a populist energy that can be turned into a powerful instrument of coercion. Grounded in the history of modern India, the book reveals the close kinship among identity economy and identity politics, publicity and populism, and violence and economic growth rapidly rearranging the liberal political order the world over.