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What Makes Life Worth Living

Author: Gordon Mathews
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520916470
Size: 57.20 MB
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Here is an original and provocative anthropological approach to the fundamental philosophical question of what makes life worth living. Gordon Mathews considers this perennial issue by examining nine pairs of similarly situated individuals in the United States and Japan. In the course of exploring how people from these two cultures find meaning in their daily lives, he illuminates a vast and intriguing range of ideas about work and love, religion, creativity, and self-realization. Mathews explores these topics by means of the Japanese term ikigai, "that which most makes one's life seem worth living." American English has no equivalent, but ikigai applies not only to Japanese lives but to American lives as well. Ikigai is what, day after day and year after year, each of us most essentially lives for. Through the life stories of those he interviews, Mathews analyzes the ways Japanese and American lives have been affected by social roles and cultural vocabularies. As we approach the end of the century, the author's investigation into how the inhabitants of the world's two largest economic superpowers make sense of their lives brings a vital new understanding to our skeptical age.

Pursuits Of Happiness

Author: Gordon Mathews
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 0857453963
Size: 70.40 MB
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Anthropology has long shied away from examining how human beings may lead happy and fulfilling lives. This book, however, shows that the ethnographic examination of well-being—defined as “the optimal state for an individual, a community, and a society”—and the comparison of well-being within and across societies is a new and important area for anthropological inquiry. Distinctly different in different places, but also reflecting our common humanity, well-being is intimately linked to the idea of happiness and its pursuits. Noted anthropological researchers have come together in this volume to examine well-being in a range of diverse ways and to investigate it in a range of settings: from the Peruvian Amazon, the Australian outback, and the Canadian north, to India, China, Indonesia, Japan, and the United States.

Ghetto At The Center Of The World

Author: Gordon Mathews
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226510204
Size: 12.25 MB
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There is nowhere else in the world quite like Chungking Mansions, a dilapidated seventeen-story commercial and residential structure in the heart of Hong Kong’s tourist district. A remarkably motley group of people call the building home; Pakistani phone stall operators, Chinese guesthouse workers, Nepalese heroin addicts, Indonesian sex workers, and traders and asylum seekers from all over Asia and Africa live and work there—even backpacking tourists rent rooms. In short, it is possibly the most globalized spot on the planet. But as Ghetto at the Center of the World shows us, a trip to Chungking Mansions reveals a far less glamorous side of globalization. A world away from the gleaming headquarters of multinational corporations, Chungking Mansions is emblematic of the way globalization actually works for most of the world’s people. Gordon Mathews’s intimate portrayal of the building’s polyethnic residents lays bare their intricate connections to the international circulation of goods, money, and ideas. We come to understand the day-to-day realities of globalization through the stories of entrepreneurs from Africa carting cell phones in their luggage to sell back home and temporary workers from South Asia struggling to earn money to bring to their families. And we see that this so-called ghetto—which inspires fear in many of Hong Kong’s other residents, despite its low crime rate—is not a place of darkness and desperation but a beacon of hope. Gordon Mathews’s compendium of riveting stories enthralls and instructs in equal measure, making Ghetto at the Center of the World not just a fascinating tour of a singular place but also a peek into the future of life on our shrinking planet.

The World In Guangzhou

Author: Gordon Mathews
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022650624X
Size: 17.71 MB
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Only decades ago, the population of Guangzhou was almost wholly Chinese. Today, it is a truly global city, a place where people from around the world go to make new lives, find themselves, or further their careers. A large number of these migrants are small-scale traders from Africa who deal in Chinese goods—often knockoffs or copies of high-end branded items—to send back to their home countries. In The World in Guangzhou, Gordon Mathews explores the question of how the city became a center of “low-end globalization” and shows what we can learn from that experience about similar transformations elsewhere in the world. Through detailed ethnographic portraits, Mathews reveals a world of globalization based on informality, reputation, and trust rather than on formal contracts. How, he asks, can such informal relationships emerge between two groups—Chinese and sub-Saharan Africans—that don't share a common language, culture, or religion? And what happens when Africans move beyond their status as temporary residents and begin to put down roots and establish families? Full of unforgettable characters, The World in Guangzhou presents a compelling account of globalization at ground level and offers a look into the future of urban life as transnational connections continue to remake cities around the world.

Japan S Changing Generations

Author: Gordon Mathews
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113435388X
Size: 54.20 MB
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This book argues that 'the generation gap' in Japan is something more than young people resisting the adult social order before entering and conforming to that order. Rather, it signifies something more fundamental: the emergence of a new Japan, which may be quite different from the Japan of postwar decades. It argues that while young people in Japan in their teens, twenties and early thirties are not engaged in overt social or political resistance, they are turning against the existing Japanese social order, whose legitimacy has been undermined by the past decade of economic downturn. The book shows how young people in Japan are thinking about their bodies and identities, their social relationships, and their employment and parenting, in new and generationally contextual ways, that may help to create a future Japan quite different from Japan of the recent past.

Global Culture Individual Identity

Author: Gordon Mathews
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134625413
Size: 15.61 MB
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Most people still think of themselves as belonging to a particular culture. Yet today, many of us who live in affluent societies choose aspects of our lives from a global cultural supermarket, whether in terms of food, the arts or spiritual beliefs. So if roots are becoming simply one more consumer choice, can we still claim to possess a fundamental cultural identity? Global Culture/Individual Identity focuses on three groups for whom the tension between a particular national culture and the global cultural supermarket is especially acute: Japanese artists, American religious seekers and Hong Kong intellectuals after the handover to China. These ethnographic case studies form the basis for a theory of culture which we can all see reflected in our own lives. Gordon Mathews opens up the complex and debated topics of globalization, culture and identity in a clear and lively style.

Fulbe Voices

Author: Helen A. Regis
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0429979932
Size: 16.32 MB
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Through the fall of Anastasio Somoza, the rise of the Sandinistas, and the contra war, the United States and Nicaragua seemed destined to repeat the mistakes made by the U.S. and Cuba forty years before. The 1990 election in Nicaragua broke the pattern. Robert Pastor was a major US policymaker in the critical period leading up to and following the Sandinista Revolution of 1979. A decade later after writing the first edition of this book, he organized the International Mission led by Jimmy Carter that mediated the first free election in Nicaragua's history. From his unique vantage point, and utilizing a wealth of original material from classified government documents and from personal interviews with U.S. and Nicaraguan leaders, Pastor shows how Nicaragua and the United States were prisoners of a tragic history and how they finally escaped. This revised and updated edition covers the events of the democratic transition, and it extracts the lessons to be learned from the past.

Globalization From Below

Author: Gordon Mathews
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415535085
Size: 38.87 MB
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This book explores globalization as actually experienced by most of the world's people, buying goods from street vendors brought by traders moving past borders and across continents under the radar of the law. The dimensions and practices of 'globalization from below' are depicted and analyzed in detail by a team of international scholars. Topics covered include the 'New Silk Road', African traders in China, street hawking in Calcutta and pirate CDs in Mexico. The chapters provide intimate portrayals of routes, markets and people in locations across the globe and explore theories that can help make sense of these complex and fascinating case studies. Students of globalization, economic anthropology and developing-world economics will find the book invaluable.

Fatherhood

Author: Peter B. Gray
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674048690
Size: 16.88 MB
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Explores the scientific side of fatherhood, revealing that it alters a man's sexuality, rewires his brain, and changes his hormonal profile.

Midnight In Broad Daylight

Author: Pamela Rotner Sakamoto
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062351958
Size: 42.31 MB
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Meticulously researched and beautifully written, the true story of a Japanese American family that found itself on opposite sides during World War II—an epic tale of family, separation, divided loyalties, love, reconciliation, loss, and redemption—this is a riveting chronicle of U.S.–Japan relations and the Japanese experience in America. After their father’s death, Harry, Frank, and Pierce Fukuhara—all born and raised in the Pacific Northwest—moved to Hiroshima, their mother’s ancestral home. Eager to go back to America, Harry returned in the late 1930s. Then came Pearl Harbor. Harry was sent to an internment camp until a call came for Japanese translators and he dutifully volunteered to serve his country. Back in Hiroshima, his brothers Frank and Pierce became soldiers in the Japanese Imperial Army. As the war raged on, Harry, one of the finest bilingual interpreters in the United States Army, island-hopped across the Pacific, moving ever closer to the enemy—and to his younger brothers. But before the Fukuharas would have to face each other in battle, the U.S. detonated the atomic bomb over Hiroshima, gravely injuring tens of thousands of civilians, including members of their family. Alternating between the American and Japanese perspectives, Midnight in Broad Daylight captures the uncertainty and intensity of those charged with the fighting as well as the deteriorating home front of Hiroshima—as never told before in English—and provides a fresh look at the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Intimate and evocative, it is an indelible portrait of a resilient family, a scathing examination of racism and xenophobia, an homage to the tremendous Japanese American contribution to the American war effort, and an invaluable addition to the historical record of this extraordinary time.