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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Isaac Gagné

Isaac Gagné
Principal Researcher
Cultural Anthropology
Managing Editor Contemporary Japan
Since June 2017

I am a cultural anthropologist with interests in issues of morality and ethics, religion and modernization, and the role of local community groups in the face of disaster and social crises. My current research is on the diversity of grassroots social welfare practices in Japan. In particular, my research examines two issues: 1) How global discourses and practices of mental health care are localized to address the psychosocial challenges following the March 11, 2011 disaster in northeastern Japan; 2) How transformations in national welfare policies and community dynamics are connected to the emergence of new forms and meanings of social welfare practices in aging and shrinking local communities in central Japan. I am also interested in issues of subcultural fandom practices and gender and sexuality among youth. I am preparing a book manuscript based on my dissertation research on the relationship between religion, secularity, and morality under socioeconomic and demographic changes in contemporary Japan. Before joining the DIJ I worked at Waseda University’s Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and The University of Hong Kong.

Current DIJ Projects

The Values of Sustainability and the Sustainability of Values in Contemporary Japan

Listening to the Community: Grassroots Mental Healthcare in Local Communities