The Political Economy of Affect and Emotion in East Asia: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Political Economy of Affect and Emotion in East Asia

1st Edition

Edited by Jie Yang


248 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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When thinking about the culture and economy of East Asia, many attribute to the region a range of dispositions, including a preference for consensus and social harmony, loyalty and respect towards superiors and government, family values, collectivism, and communitarianism. Affect is central to these concepts, and yet the role of affect and its animated or imagined potentialities in the political economy of East Asia has not been systematically studied. The book examines the affective dimensions of power and economy in East Asia. It illuminates the dynamics of contemporary governance, and ways of overcoming common Western assumptions about East Asian societies. Here, affect is defined as felt quality that gives meaning and imagination to social, political, and economic processes, and as this book demonstrates, it can provide an analytical tool for a nuanced and enriched analysis of social, political, and economic transformations in East Asia.

Through ethnographic and media analyses, this book provides a framework for analyzing emerging phenomena in East Asia, such as happiness promotion, therapeutic governance, the psychologization of social issues, the rise of self-help genres, transnational labor migration, new ideologies of gender and the family, and mass-mediated affective communities. Through the lens of affect theory, the contributors explore changing political configurations, economic engagements, modes of belonging, and forms of subjectivity in East Asia, and use ethnographic research and discourse analysis to illustrate the affective dimensions of state and economic power and the way affect informs and inspires action.

This interdisciplinary book will be of great interest to students and scholars of Asian studies, anthropology, sociology, media studies, history, cultural studies, and gender and women’s studies.

Table of Contents

Foreword, Sara Ahmed Part I: Introduction The Politics of Affect and Emotion: Imagination, Potentiality and Anticipation in East Asia, Jie Yang Part II: Happiness and Psychologization 1. Crafting Confucian Remedies for Happiness in Contemporary China: Unraveling the Yu Dan Phenomenon, Yanhua Zhang 2. The Happiness of the Marginalized: Counseling and Self-Reflexivity in China, Jie Yang Part III: Body, Affect, and Subjectivity 3. Banking in Affects: The Child, a Landscape, and the Performance of a Canonical View, Teresa Kuan 4. Hospitality and Detachment: Japanese Tour Guides’ Affective Labor in Canada, Shiho Satsuka Part IV: Tears, Media, and Affective Articulation 5. Tears, Capital, Ethics: Television and Public Sphere in Japan, Daniel White 6. Crying Your Heart Out: The Televisual Construction of "Female Laid-Off Workers" and Melodramatic Salvation in the Age of Market Economy, Shuyu Kong Part V: Gender, Affective Labor, and Biopolitical Economy 7. "Affective Foreigners Save our Elder Citizens": Media Discourse of Indonesian Migrant Workers in Japan, Ayaka Yoshimizu 8. Fulfilling the Self and Transnational Intimacy through Emotional Labor: The Experiences of Migrant Filipino Domestic Workers in South Korea, Toshiko Tsujimoto Part VI: Affect, Modernity, and Empires 9. Affective Attachments to Japanese Women’s Language: Language, Gender, and Emotion in Colonialism, Momoko Nakamura 10. The Politics of Haan: Affect and the Domestication of Anger in South Korea, Sung Kil Min 11. Familial Communism and Cartoons: An Affective Political Economy of North Korea, Craig MacKie

About the Editor

Jie Yang is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Simon Fraser University, Canada

About the Series

Asia's Transformations

The books in this series explore the political, social, economic and cultural consequences of Asia's twenty-first century transformations. The series emphasizes the tumultuous interplay of local, national, regional and global forces as Asia bids to become the hub of the world economy. While focusing on the contemporary, it also looks back to analyze the antecedents of Asia's contested rise. Asia's Transformations aims to address the needs of students and teachers.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General