Book Cultural Essentialism and Foreigner-as-Criminal Discourse

Chapter in F. Dervin and R. Machart (Eds.), Culturalism Essentialism in Intercultural Relations (pp. 15-41). Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
This chapter explores the consequences of cultural essentialism in relation to identifying culture as an excuse through foreigner-as-criminal discourse in Japan. Demonstrated are the ways in which powerful public figures exploit a particular brand of foreigner-as-criminal discourse as an integral part of the ideological management of the nation-state. This chapter posits that within post-industrial contexts such as Japan, the continued use of culture as an excuse or survival strategy is ultimately unsustainable. With the goal of facilitating more harmonious intercultural communication encounters, this chapter concludes that younger generations of Japanese must be permitted to move beyond the various cultural offerings of their elders and encouraged to work toward discovering a transformed cultural identity that promotes ethical enablement rather than ethical disablement.

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