Intimacy/Publicness beyond Borders


Principal Investigator in Kobe University:
Kaoru AOYAMA, Professor, Graduate School of Intercultural Studies, Kobe University

Principal Investigator in the Oversea Partner University:
Sureeporn PUNPUING (Associate Professor, Mahidol Migration Center, Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University) 


2016 Research Exchange Activity Plan

Relationships and labor related to providing care have become globalized, and while situations taking shape as “changing mode of reproduction” advance, the distinction between public and private since the advent of modern civil society has weakened. At the same time, the tendency to marginalize care and see new and old immigrants as the “Other” also seems to be intensifying. Based on such historical transformation and conflict resulting from migration, in this activity, we specifically focus on the subject areas of 1) housework, nursing and care labor; sex work; and immigration and emigration related to marriage, and 2) representation of and by the “immigrants.” Through the symposia held in Kobe and Pusan in 2016, we will compare the research from Europe, Japan, and other parts of Asia that has been undertaken on each of these subject areas. Subsequently, we will investigate the occurrences in each region, the similarities and differences, and how these similarities and differences will shape future research plans. We will also utilize The Next Generation Seminar and exchange opinions on these subject areas with the younger generation of researchers. 


Anticipated Results in 2016

We will determine the issues/sites of the most significant social problems in Europe, Japan, and other parts of Asia today with regard to the above two subject areas, continue collaborating on joint research related to other activities, and make a research plan to be implemented from 2017 to 2020. In the EU and Asia at large, the central topics will be care relations and labor mobility within the regions, and in Japan, the focus will be on the trend of using immigrants as “housework support human resources” within the “national strategic economic zone.” Special attention will be given to the changes that have occurred in gender and family norms and in the social hierarchy in these regions.