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The unseen forest : spectacles of nature and governance in a Japanese national forest

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Item Summary

Title: The unseen forest : spectacles of nature and governance in a Japanese national forest
Authors: Cunningham, Eric John
Keywords: Japan
Issue Date: Dec 2012
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2012]
Abstract: This dissertation is an ethnographic study of the processes by which forests in central Japan's Kiso Region are culturally produced among actors and institutions, creating frictions out of which emerge forms of knowledge and meaning that shape humanenvironment interactions on all levels. I explore national forests in the upland village of Otaki as sites of contention and shifting meanings concerning shizen (nature) and shigen (resources), as well as ideas about what it means to be nihonjin (Japanese) and kokumin (a national citizen). This exploration is framed within the context of the historical development of governing institutions in the region and the use of "spectacles," defined as various media (such as pamphlets, websites, and reports) meant to communicate ideas, knowledge, and policies. In addition, I ask to what extent conceptual shifts regarding forest natures influence how local residents in Otaki think about themselves and the forest landscapes that surround them. I suggest that through the deployment of spectacles, forests in Otaki and the greater Kiso Region have become visible markers of the state apparatus, which express relations of power by helping to define local subjects as citizens of the nation. My analysis is framed within a broader examination of global discourses of nature, resources, and governance, which I locate within the development of neoliberal politics and free market capitalism.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Anthropology Ph.D Dissertations
Ph.D. - Anthropology

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