Events and Activities
Individualization and mobility increasingly define romantic relationships. ‘Despatialization’ and internationalization of work and education have intensified tensions between occupation and relationships. Therefore, as couples negotiate and coordinate their lives, flexibility and agency become more necessary to sustain relationships. Decisions along the life course demand privileging either individual autonomy or dyadic belonging. As all options likely imply trade-offs, actors will try to balance autonomy and belonging. This is for example the case in long-distance relationships (LDR), which can be seen as ‘solutions’ to systemic challenges, that, however, cause new challenges. Against this background, my talk asks how long-distance couples ‘manage’ distance, belonging and their life courses.
Markus Klingel, Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences
Germany and Japan have experienced rapid growth in non-standard employment and particular in part-time work in the last 30 years. Nevertheless, both countries differ considerably when it comes to important indicators of work-life balance such as working time. According to the OECD, in Japan around 22 per cent of workers have a work week of 50 hours or more, whereas in Germany this applies to less than 5 per cent. Annual average working hours in Japan stand at 1,600 hours but only at about 1,300 in Germany. Despite these differences, in both countries policies that aim at more flexible working time regimes, including measures to reduce working hours, are currently high on the political agenda.
At this DIJ Forum we ask how the differences between the two countries can be explained and to what extent current debates are comparable.
Hartmut Seifert, WSI Düsseldorf
Katsutoshi Kezuka, Chuo University
Wie wird die klassische japanische Bühnenkunst im Ausland gesehen und welche Forschung gibt es dazu?
Die International House of Japan Library, die Bibliothèque de la Maison franco-japonaise sowie die Bibliothek des Deutschen Instituts für Japanstudien geben im Rahmen einer gemeinsamen Bücherausstellung Einblicke in englisch-, französisch- und deutschsprachige Übersetzungen sowie Forschungsliteratur zum Thema Nō und Kyōgen.
Falls Sie Fragen zu Inhalten oder zum Besuch der Ausstellung haben sollten, kontaktieren Sie bitte die jeweilige Bibliothek.
The literary scene in Japan has one strong focal point: Tokyo. From the early 20th century onwards, publishers gathered in the capital, attracting those who aspired to be professional writers from all over the country. Still today, more than 76 percent of all Japanese publishing houses are located in Tokyo according to a recent report of the Japan Book Publishers Association. However, the situation for writers in other regions of Japan seems to have changed significantly as my research on literature in the prefecture of Iwate shows: While my study began with the question whether there was any local literary production in present-day Iwate at all, an on-site exploration yielded that a considerable literary scene actually does exist. Yet, this local literature is mostly overlooked by academia and media. To change this and draw attention to the literary production of Iwate, I dedicated my dissertation to the question what the local literary scene in Iwate and its literature look like.
In the presentation the focus will be put on the literary magazine Kita no bungaku [Literature of the North], which I identified as one of the key institutions supporting literature in Iwate.
Tamara Kamerer, University of Vienna
The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien and the Max Weber Stiftung – Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland had invited 18 doctoral and postdoctoral scholars from the humanities and social sciences to attend a Transregional Academy convened at the National University of Singapore (NUS) on the topic of “Infrastructures, Regions and Urbanizations”. The Academy was chaired by Weiqiang Lin and James D. Sidaway (National University of Singapore), Franz Waldenberger (Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien, Tokyo) and Simone Lässig (Deutsches Historisches Institut Washington). It was arranged in cooperation with the Asia Research Institute and its director Jonathan Rigg as well as the Max Weber Foundation Research Group on Borders, Mobility and New Infrastructures at NUS.
Read the full report by Franz Waldenberger
With multinational companies being globally active, deploying people in different locations all over the world has become a common practice. A recent survey of KMPG predicts that the number of international assignments will continue to increase in the next 5 years and that companies worldwide will continue to take advantage of their global workforce. Japanese multinational companies also strongly rely on this workforce as it enables them to control their foreign subsidiaries, foster knowledge transfer across national borders and establish globally standardized policies. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the number of Japanese nationals working overseas increased by nearly 10% in the last five years. For FY 2017, 463,700 nationals were working for private enterprises abroad. Considering the crucial importance of these employees for the long-term corporate success, it becomes imperative for both researchers and practitioners alike to understand what determines expatriates´ success abroad and how human resource management practices may support expatriates to stay committed to their employers.
Tassilo Schuster, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Inscribing Edible Otherness: Intersections of Food, Gender, and Ethnicity in Contemporary Zainichi Poetry
This presentation explores the intersections of food, gender, and ethnicity in contemporary zainichi Korean poetry. Far more than simply a biological necessity, “food serves as an indicator of social identity, from region to ethnicity, from class to age or gender” (Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz 1993: 90). In zainichi Korean literature, representations of food, cooking, and eating often do not primarily serve to add realism to the work. Rather, food is used as shorthand for the ties that persist between Korean immigrants and their pasts, and to indicate the degree of their assimilation in Japan. This function is particularly clear in poetry, which, due to its brevity, must forego world building and instead invest meaning in every single word. With a focus on the representation of what is probably the most iconic Korean food, kimchi, I examine how ethnic food is celebrated, and simultaneously resisted, as (gendered) cultural heritage. I show how food is used to highlight cultural anxieties and desires, mark processes of inclusion and exclusion, and express a wavering sense of connectedness between Korea, the imagined country of the poets’ descent, and Japan, the country of their own birth.
Kristina Iwata-Weickgenannt, Nagoya University / Trier University
Labour Market Liberalisation after the Lehman Crisis: Comparing France, Germany and Japan
10 years after the collapse of the investment firm Lehman Brothers, a shift in discourses on structural labour market reforms is becoming ever more visible. Whereas before the crash many experts and policymakers had argued that market-oriented reforms were necessary to improve labour market and economic performance, the social costs of liberalisation now seem to attract much more attention.
Yet the jury is still out on whether this discursive shift has prompted a similar change in policy. While policies emphasising social equality appear to have gained in popularity (e.g. minimum wages, equal treatment for non-standard workers), structural reforms echoing liberalisation are also still on the agenda (e.g. French reforms of labour contract law).
This event aims to shed light on this mixed picture of continuity and change by bringing together three renowned scholars from France, Germany, and Japan for a roundtable discussion. They will discuss whether and to what extent the Lehman crisis (a.k.a. the global financial crisis) has indeed led to a lasting reorientation of labour market policy and politics.
Bruno Amable, University of Geneva
Paul Marx, University of Duisburg-Essen
Mari Miura, Sophia University in Tokyo