Jan.9: Poverty socially constructed in Japan by Minjoo Lee

The social construction of poverty under the neoliberal transition in Japan since 1990

In the first Biotope Salon of the new year of 2014, Ms. Minjoo Lee provided her basic vision of the PhD dissertation. That was a really important exploration. (Shin Mizukoshi)

Poverty tends to be considered as a phenomenon already happened-therefore-existed, thus that we should take actions upon in order to ‘solve.’ However, have you ever doubt what actually poverty is and who are considered as “the poor” within a particular socio-cultural context? And there, who do you think have involved with what purpose and how?With raising these questions urging us to re-think about poverty/the poor more carefully, at the Biotope Salon meeting on January 09, 2014, Minjoo Lee introduced a brief overview on her on-going Ph.D. dissertation project, tentatively titled “The social construction of poverty under the neoliberal transition in Japan since 1990.”

In this research, by investigating related video-text-materials, she attempts to chronicle who has been incarnated as the figure of the withdrawn or outcast since 1990 till the present, the era characterized that neoliberal transition has been accelerated in Japan, and to elucidate the process that those figures are constructed as social realities by various agents within socio-cultural power-relations. This research, eventually, aims to re-historicize Japanese society since 1990 through the lens of poverty, which would be explicating the process of re-formulating the relation between the social and the political, as well as questioning how each ought to be re-imagined under the neo-liberal transition in Japan since 1990.

Snapshot of the discussion

Snapshot of the discussion

After the presentation, the Biotope Salon members eagerly asked questions and suggested insightful comments on it, of course without forgetting warm advice and encouragement. Based on those invaluable discussions at the meeting, we hope her to laboriously elaborate her research with trenchant and thoughtful analysis.

(Minjoo Lee: PhD student of the GSII)

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