BiographyJames Farrer is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Graduate Program in Global Studies at Sophia University in Tokyo. His research focuses on cities in East Asia, including ethnographic studies of sexuality, nightlife, expatriate communities, and urban food cultures. Currently, he leads a project studying gastronomy in a Tokyo neighborhood in which he documents the place making activities of small business people. This project is published in a bilingual Japanese-English webpage (www.nishiogiology.org) and is read both by scholars and community members. He leads another group research project on the global spread of Japanese cuisine (www.global-japanese-cuisine.org). He has also published over 100 book chapters and articles. Originally from the U.S.A., he has lived in Asia over twenty-five years.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Sociology, Urban Studies, Food Studies, Migration, Sexuality
Literature, Travel, Gastronomy
By: James Farrer
Subjects: Area Studies, Sociology, Sociology, Criminology and Criminal Justice
Senior Program Director for the Carnegie Council Devin Stewart interviews Farrer about his research on migration into China for the Carnegie Council's Asian Dialogues podcast series. The discussion is based on Farrer's recent book with Routledge and engages with a number of questions. China has begun pushing to recruit skilled migrants from around the world, Farrer asks, but do these migrants really fit into Chinese society, or are they always outsiders? What strengths does China draw from migration, and what does the experience of China say about the strengths of the USA? In the end, Farrer argues that migrants have been a source of dynamic social change in China, but as a whole China is not successful in incorporating migrants who lack a Chinese ethnic background or ties to Chinese families. China benefits, however, from a large flow of "return" or "circular" migrants. Because of these patterns, China and the USA have very different sources of strength deriving from the flow of population across borders.