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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Discussions of Diversity in Fiction and the Media - Work and the Workplace in the Context of Alternative Concepts of Life

 August 2016 - July 2019

Diversity is one of the dominating buzzwords of contemporary Japan. While it is often recognized as vital to enhancing the country’s economic situation, it remains a blurred concept. Generally, there are three prominent discourses that discuss diversity: the social, the political, and the economic discourse. Typical aspects of the concept included in such discourses are gender, age, and sexual orientation, amongst others. This research project focuses on discussions of diversity in public discourses including fiction, popular culture, and the media. Notably, these discourses relate the concept of diversity to individual concepts of life. Hereby, individuals are mostly representatives of particular social groups. On the one hand, this incorporation of individual concepts of life, including the way individuals work and act in the workplace, shows how diversity impacts the way of working and the organization of work in the workplace. On the other hand, it shows how work and the workplace can in turn influence individual lifestyle and the personal living condition. The goal of this project is to determine and examine
  1. the prominent topoi in discussions of diversity at work and the workplace within the public discourses,
  2. interrelations between private and professional life that are constructed within the public discourses,
  3. how fiction, popular culture and the media also address the socio-economic dispositions of Japan as one contributing factor to diversity,
  4. how these aforementioned discussions manifest in fiction, popular culture and the media.
The case studies used for this project are works of fiction as well as contributions in print and electronic media, and popular culture, such as novels, manga, tv series, or movies, amongst others.


Ronald Saladin (until December 2017)
Literature Studies, Media Studies, Popular Culture, Gender Studies