Nationalism and Sport in Contemporary Japan & Media globalization and Trans-Asian Cultural Dialogue

Prominent sociologists, Prof. Iwabuchi Koichi from Waseda University and Prof. Yoshiro Kosaku from Sophia University in Japan presented their talks at Universiti Sains Malaysia yesterday. Abstracts are provided.

The program was organised by Universiti Sains Malaysia, Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur and Malaysian Association of Japanese Studies with the aim of furthering the understanding of contemporary issues in Japan.

The abstracts of the lectures are copied below


Title: Nationalism and Sport in Contemporary Japan
(By Professor YOSHINO Kosaku)

Nationalism has long been regarded as the project of the state. Professor Yoshino challenges this view and argues that workings of nationalism in contemporary Japan can usefully be examined by paying attention to the ‘marketplace’ in which sporting events are orchestrated. Sport has now been recognised as a significant commercial enterprise in the globalising world. Interestingly, the globalisation and commercialisation of sport have promoted nationalism in ways that had never been anticipated. Most of the existing literature on the topic, however, simply engages in ‘subjective’ interpretations of representation of sport. The approach adopted in this talk is sociological. It attempts to identify social agents and processes that generate nationalism such as those involved in the invention, reproduction and consumption of the ostensibly patriotic cheering style among soccer supporters. The talk concludes with theoretical considerations, in which market-generated nationalism is contrasted with state-initiated nationalism.

Title: Media globalization and Trans-Asian Cultural Dialogue
(By Professor IWABUCHI Koichi)

In the latter decades of the twentieth century, various (national) media markets have been penetrated and integrated by the powerful missionaries of global media culture. However, no less has become conspicuous the development of media cultural contra-flows from East Asian nations to other parts of the world as well as of new patterns of regional media co-production, circulation and consumption. Media cultures from places like Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China are finding unprecedented acceptance all over the region, leading to the formation of new links among people in East Asia. This development of media cultural connections has considerably advanced mutual understanding and cultural exchange among the people in the region. However these developments do not eventually work to fundamentally decenter uneven transnational media cultural flows and to truthfully promote a dialogic connection among people of various places. We should not lose sight of how it has been occurring in the uneven globalization process, in which the logic of corporatism has deeply penetrated the production, circulation and consumption of media culture, and in the context of intensifying inter-natonalism in which the states' interest in the opportunistic and narrow-focused uses of media culture for the purpose of maximizing political and economic national interests is intensified. It is imperative for various social actors to seriously engage with transnationally collaborative and pedagogical practices, so as to advance media cultural connections in more democratic ways.

Published: 13 Mar 2009

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