Fukushima, Power and Trauma

October 23, 2017

Visiting Participant: Chantal Bertalanffy
Participant Location: Berlin, Germany
Moderator and Communications: Melis Ercan

This paper investigates the alleged lack of change within Japanese society following the events of The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami as well as subsequent nuclear accident at Fukushima’s Daiichi nuclear power plant on 11 March 2011. Drawing on Jeffrey C. Alexander’s concept of ‘cultural trauma’, I argue that the Japanese government attempted to frame the events of the triple catastrophe as a national trauma in order to maintain its position of power. By doing so, social changes were undermined and six years on, it appears as if Japanese society went back to ‘usual’ politics. However, Japanese popular culture resists this narrative, specifically by telling individual trauma stories.

Video Conferencing Coordinator:  Mesut Saygi
Faculty Advisor: Eric Deibel