Why did Contemporary Sociology, an official journal of the American Sociological Association, ask me to review these two books on Japan edited and written by anthropologists? This question sounds trivial and even irrelevant at first. However, when the question’s three overlapping registers— why Japan, why anthropology, and why me (a Japanese sociologist trained in the United States)—are recognized, they should prompt readers of Contemporary Sociology to reexamine the relationship between disciplines and area studies, on the one hand, and the relationship between sociologists and publics, on the other. In fact, I suggest that this reexamination be an urgent task in an increasingly global world, where linguistic and institutional barriers that safely separated the observing-self from the observed other are breaking down, as many anthropologists have already pointed out.
Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews
SAGE Publications (UK and US) / American Sociological Association
SAITO, Hiro.(2015). Disciplines, Area Studies, and Publics: Rethinking Sociology in a Global World. Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews, 44(1), 25-28.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/1896