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Recently I have read the following book. A book summary and my comments are:. Book title : Kondo, K. Book summary. Dorinne Kondo, a Japanese American anthropologist with a very Japanese appearance, embedded herself in a working class suburb in Tokyo and worked in a confectionary factory owned by Sato the Sato factory to do her field research for this book.
She picked this small size factory because , in her time, This category was known as the middle-small size companies p. She developed her research with the theme of personhood, work, and family by asking a question: How did the people she knew crafted themselves and their lives within the shifting fields of power and meaning, and how did they do so in a particular situation and within a particular historical and cultural context p.
By experimentation with multiple shifting voice, she undertook a project to de-centre the de-essentialize selves, focusing on the ways people constructed themselves p. While doing research in Japan she had two identities: a researcher from America the duty was to pursuit knowledge as a female sensei and a daughter adopted of a Japanese family where she was residing carrying duty and responsibility to the family p.
Therefore crafting selves was an ongoing process, and that crafting selves implied a concept of agency: it was human who created, constructed, worked on, and enacted on it p.
Kondo also provides a critic on recent works done by younger scholars such as Richard Shweder, White and Kirkpatrick, and Valentine Daniel pp. The purpose of the book was to see how selves in the plural were constructed variously in various situations, how these constructions could be complicated and enlivened by multiplicity and ambiguity, and how they shaped, and were reshaped by relations of power p.
Kondo divides the book in to three parts. In part one, through outlining the political, economic and historical context, she describes the location of the Sato factory which was a small, family-owned firm with about 30 employees. Then she focuses on an extraordinary experience at an ethic training retreat where the Sato workers were sent there to take courses to become better human being and better servants of the company.
Part two discussed about the living meaning of family for the people known to the author. Using the perspective of a male artisan and the female part-time workers, Kondo highlights the notions of identity, and shows that individual identities were contextually constructed p.
Kondo concludes that the complex and often paradoxical effects of gender drew our attention to the multiplicity of possible points at which dominant cultural forms might be contested. They underlined the always unpredictable and incomplete nature of resistance and the impossibility of constructing a transcendent space of resistance beyond discourse, beyond power and beyond the law p.
Throughout the book Kondo argues that selves were crafted in processes of work and within matrices of power, and those dichotomic categories such as personal and political, experiential and theoretical, personal and social, persistent in North American narrative conventions, were unable to fully account for the complexities and ambiguities of everyday life p. Comments :. This is a good book to learn about writing style and research method.
It is interesting to note her confession that she had deviated from the conventions in book writing: putting theoretical discussion scattered throughout the book, for example the theoretical discussion on pages to Love history and language learning. Gift-giving in Japan: Cash, Connection, Cosmologie
Crafting Selves: Power, Gender, and Discourses of Identity in a Japanese Workplace
Recently I have read the following book. A book summary and my comments are:. Book title : Kondo, K. Book summary. Dorinne Kondo, a Japanese American anthropologist with a very Japanese appearance, embedded herself in a working class suburb in Tokyo and worked in a confectionary factory owned by Sato the Sato factory to do her field research for this book. She picked this small size factory because , in her time,