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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Sebastian Hofstetter

Japanese Studies, Law
(PhD Students, June 1, 2013 - February 28, 2014)

Research interests:

  • Care in Japan, Care robots
  • J-Care and Cool Japan
  • Care as topic of Japanese literature

PhD Project:

Working title: Activities of Japanese workers collectives engaged in elderly care between care insurance and social demand.
My dissertation analyzes Japanese workers collectives that are involved in elderly care. Following the principle of shared responsibility, workers collectives in Japan try to connect intensive patient-centered care by using resources from local community and society. Especially since 2000, when long term care insurance was introduced in Japan, the number of workers collectives engaged in care has risen. This leads to the central question of my dissertation: What role do workers collectives in Japan play towards elderly care? Which innovative holistic and tailor-made concepts are they developing, and what resources are they applying from different sectors to satisfy the needs of their customers and clients?

First, the term Workers Collectives has to be tightly defined in the context of contemporary welfare mix discussions. Empirically, I will use the Kanagawa Workers collective to show how Workers Collectives engage in every day care. My project addresses Adalbert Evers’ hypothesis that workers collectives employ a “social capital” through the mobilization of freelancers’ and relatives’ work and social status as registered association and local partnerships. Due to this, it becomes possible for Workers Collectives to be widely engaged in the social space.

In conclusion, I argue that Workers Collectives offer an alternative to conventional care concepts and create potential solutions against the problems emerging through the ageing of the population.