Foreword : Where are the "walls"? Facing the Politics of War, Refugees, and Memory

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  • <特集論文 1>序--「壁」はどこにあるのか? -- 戦争・難民・記憶のポリティクスに向けて

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War, refugees, and memory are major themes receiving increasing attention in Japanese anthropology and sociology recently. Globalization --despite producing debates over imperialism, colonial rule, and postcolonialism-- does not wait for theorization. Halbwachs's 1929 research on memory did not reach the spotlight until the 1980s, for example. It can also be said that questioning "tradition" and the "nation-state, " initially led by Hobsbawm and Anderson, was spawned by neoliberalism's global conquest in the 1990s. Diverse theoretical approaches, from macro-level structural analysis to empiricism based on individual case studies, are possible concerning each of these themes. Within said possibility, this feature investigates the sociality and cooperation that bind the macro and micro together. The rampant phenomena of war, diaspora, and memory today cannot be reduced to simple dichotomies of aggressor-victim, acceptance-mobility, or official-unofficial history. After all, such dichotomies are not parallel, but are rather categories necessary for understanding process: war breaks out, refugees are produced, and memory of these events is formed. While both sides can make a claim to generational and socially-bound legitimacy, layers of everyday reality are repeatedly interwoven over time, to the point that the dividing creases become hardly perceptible. Here we purposefully refer to such creases as "walls." Today, "walls" constantly obstruct systems of law, knowledge, consciousness, speech, judgment, and social relationships. "Walls" are much harder to build for the structurally disadvantaged than for the privileged; however, when adapting to social and generational change, even the privileged are forced to alter the character and height of their "walls." This feature aims to interpret processes of compromise, collaboration, and blending over and across "walls" present in diverse sociological fields.


  • Contact zone

    Contact zone 9 (2017), 191-197, 2017-12-31

    京都大学大学院人間・環境学研究科 文化人類学分野

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