Drivers’ Education in Japan: Personality Tests and ‘Road Rage?’

Memo #158 – There is no Japanese equivalent for the term “road rage.” Yet Japanese psychologists and the public are aware of the emotional dimensions of driving. A 2001 article in the Japan Automobile Association’s monthly magazine discusses the propensity of some for angry driving (ka ka unten). Since 1996, Japanese automobile insurance rates have been adjusted to penalize drivers who cause accidents. But such neoliberal forms of governance have not replaced forms of moral suasion and self-reflection that have a long history in Japan. Continue reading

Is ‘Safe Migration’ Along the Thai-Lao Border Truly ‘Safe?’

Memo #157 – Since the late 1990s, international organizations and NGOs have engaged with labour migrants in the Mekong region. This includes either advocating for migrants’ rights, or launching anti-trafficking programs. More recently, the term “safe migration” has surfaced within policy circles and the broader aid community with several organizations implementing “safe migration” programs. Continue reading

Indonesian Street Vendors Imagine Democracy (Video Interview with Dr. Sheri L. Gibbings)

Memo #109 – Today, talk of democracy and what constitutes a public good is common in Indonesia among people from all walks of life. In her brief interview, SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Sheri L. Gibbings discusses a group of street vendors in Yogyakarta City who have taken up the cause of democracy and transparency. Continue reading

Self-searching Migrants: Japanese Temporary Residents in Canada in the Age of High Mobility and Self-Reflexivity

Memo #94 – The term “self-searching” (自分探し – jibun-sagashi) has become a cliché in Japan since the early 1990s, when the high-growth period ended. Economic stagnation obliged many new university graduates to get unstable and unfulfilling jobs. Since then, an increasing number of young Japanese have become “self-searching migrants” forming a new category of trans-Pacific migration. Just as migrants around the world have for centuries, Japanese young people are embarking on journeys across the Pacific in search of a professional or personal calling. Continue reading

「自分探し」のグローバル移動: 流動化と自省の時代におけるカナダの日本人一時滞在者たち

Memo #94 – 「自分探し」という語は、1990年代初頭以来、日本であまりに安直に使われてきた決まり文句である。この時期日本ではバブル経済が崩壊し、大卒者でさえ多くが不安定な、やり甲斐のない仕事に就かざるを得なくなった。以来、「自分探しのための移動」をする若者たちは次第に増えていき、太平洋を越えて移動する者たちの中で新カテゴ
リーを形成している。 Continue reading