Organized Panel Session
Japan is in the midst of drastic demographic transition and prolonged economic stagnation, which demand serious reconfigurations of social and economic imperatives, including labor relations, immigration policies, and community development. Recent changes in socio-economic policies have prompted new flows of human mobility and are reshaping the pattern of socioeconomic mobility.
This panel explores multiple forms of mobility in contemporary Japan, in hopes to bring various manifestations of Japan’s sociocultural transformation into conversation. Based on an ethnographic study of a small town in Kumamoto, Holthus investigates psychological well-being in a rural area and emerging forms of urban-rural mobility. Meanwhile, Kojima focuses on the socioeconomic mobility in the labor market and discusses possible ramifications of Abe Administration’s workstyle reform on the career path of non-regular workers. Hof addresses the interrelatedness of geographical, organizational and social mobility (and immobility) through the analysis of career trajectories of European skilled migrants in Tokyo. Yamamoto, on the other hand, examines diverse intentions behind international student mobility into English-taught programs in Japan's globalizing higher education.
The session will open with a brief slideshow that visualizes demographic, social, and economic conditions of contemporary Japan. The opening is designed to offer a broader context of Japanese society in which papers are situated and to provide common grounds for meaningful discussions with the audience after presentations. By shedding light on im/mobility of different groups, the panel seeks to reveal tensions, insecurities and opportunities Japan's sociocultural transformations bring to various stakeholders in society.