West European academic images and stereotypes of Japan since the 1970s
Title: West European academic images and stereotypes of Japan since the 1970s
Author: IWASA, Takuro
Citation: Florence, European University Institute, 2007
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
The aim of this thesis is to analyse the changes through the time of the West European academic images and stereotypes of Japan since the 1970s, and to study how Japan has been produced and constructed for Europe in some major academic disciplines, that is, economics, business management studies, social sciences, and across these disciplines. Therefore, it is a thesis to clarify the European imaginations and stereotypisations of Japan as reflected in the West European academic debate. It also aims to illuminate the European conceptualisation of Japan. How have the European academics perceived and interpreted the Japanese economy, its business management, society and historical backdrop since the 1970s? How have the images and stereotypes of Japan been constructed and developed for Europe as a model, as a threat or as the Other? Do any remarkable shared features or differences between images and stereotypes exist within each period or each academic discipline? These questions are addressed in the thesis. The thesis was born out of an academic interest in the development of the civilisational dialogue between Europe and Japan. Europe had always presented the models to emulate for the other non-Western nations, including - at least previously - Japan. After a century of Japanese interest in emulating European models of modernisation, in the 1970s influences started to operate in the reverse direction. It was during the 1970s that the West Europeans faced their serious economic, social and identity crises, and when the Europeans started to look to Japan for an alternative model with much more interest and close attention. Over the period since the 1970s Japan has provided itself to be the first non-Western nation in modern history that has demonstrated the alternative economic and social models from which Europe can learn or with which it can contrast itself for the first time.
Subject: Japan; Civilization; 1945; East and West; Group identity; Japan; Stereotypes (Social psychology)
LC Subject Heading: Japan -- Civilization -- 1945-; East and West; Group identity -- Japan; Stereotypes (Social psychology)
Defence date: 26 October 2007; Examining board: Prof. Akira Kudo (University of Tokio) ; Prof. Willfried Spohn (Katholische Universität Eichstätt) ; Prof. Bo Stråth (Helsinki University and former EUI/Supervisor) ; Prof. Martin Van Gelderen (EUI)
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