by Latoya Peterson
These are the notes for “Do Web Interfaces Have Politics? A Japanese Social Network Site mixi and the Imagined Boundary of “Japan.”” The notes are from a paper by Ryuta Komaki, presented at the Texas A & M University Race and Ethnic Studies Institute’s Symposium exploring Race, Ethnicity and (New) Media.
- Japan based/Japanese language SNS (social network sites)
- Similar to MySpace, Cyworld (Korea), Facebook
- First SNS to target the Japanese market
- 16.3 million registered users
- Invitation only
- Zainichi Koreans and other Japanese-born foreign nationals
- People of Okinawan origin and Okinawan descent
- Some argue that Okinawa was Japan’s first colonial project
- Immigrant workers
- Kikoku-shijo (Returnee children)
- (The Ainu People) – Hokkaido
- “[The] interface feature [of the major portal sites, that forces the user to choose ‘what’ they are, and allows only one choice at a time], enforces a menu-driven sense of personal identity that works by progressively narrowing the choices of subject positions available to the user.” –Lisa Nakamura, 2002
- Asks for the birthplace
- Drop down, no free text entries
- Lists prefectures, then city and township
- poses problems for those born outside of Japan
- Only option for those not born in Japan is (Overseas) then (Countries)
Komaki’s conclusion is that mixi, through use of drop downs and choices, reinforces the ideas and boundaries of Japan, and shows a preference to those born within Japan proper. Many people who live in Japan and have done so for their entire lives have their “otherness” reinforced by mixi. In his paper (currently unpublished) Komaki explains how through the choices provided to users, mixi encourages assimilation and rewards users that “fit in” with the established idea of what Japan should be. Users who do not “fit in” like children born overseas, immigrant workers, or Zanichi Koreans find their networks severely limited and their ability to connect with others compromised.
About This BlogRacialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable
Keanu ReevesJohn Cho newsflashes.
Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.
Comments on this blog are moderated. Please read our comment moderation policy.
Use the "for:racialicious" tag in del.icio.us to send us tips. See here for detailed instructions.
Interested in writing for us? Check out our submissions guidelines.
Follow Us on Twitter!
- croquet on Voices: Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)
- Shazza on The Racialicious Links Roundup 12.5.13: Black Twitter, Black Academics, Iran, Chicago and Elan Gale
- nicthommi on Comedian Aamer Rahman Explains “Reverse Racism”
- the_miekster on Race + The Netherlands: Resistance, Lost in Translation
- moniyer on Race + The Netherlands: Resistance, Lost in Translation
- The Walking Dead Roundtable: 4.8 “Too Far Gone”
- Voices: Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)
- The Racialicious Links Roundup 12.5.13: Black Twitter, Black Academics, Iran, Chicago and Elan Gale
- On Disability and Cartographies of Difference
- A Muslimah’s Guide to Rocking the World
- Quoted: Dr. David Leonard Pens Open Letter to Marissa Alexander
- The Acclaimed Web Series Black Folks Don’t Returns for a Third Season
- Comedian Aamer Rahman Explains “Reverse Racism”
TagsABC activism advertising african-american asian asian-american barack obama black celebrities comedy diversity fashion feminism film gender glbt HBO hip hop hispanic history hollywood identity interracial relationships Kerry Washington latino media mixed race movies music muslim politics race racial stereotypes racism religion Scandal sex sexism sexual stereotypes stereotypes True Blood tv Uncategorized white youtube