The University of Iowa

Tagged with "Center for Asian and Pacific Studies"


Japan still rebuilding after last year’s tsunami

On March 11, 2011, a rising tide of dark water wrapped Japan’s northeastern coast. The world was gripped by Armageddon-invoking scenes from this highly industrialized nation in east Asia. After the visual impact of the unprecedented tsunami, there came news of nuclear meltdown in the Fukushima nuclear plant. Japan’s vast northeastern coast — the coastal villages as well as sizable inland areas — was nearly destroyed by the hand of the nature.

CAPS speaker Jan. 25: Gendered Care Work as ‘Free Labor’ in State Employment

The ethnographic research elucidates ways in which young women’s care labor is appropriated by the state temporary employment as “free labor” in South Korea, building upon John Krinsky’s notion of free labor as state orchestrated exploitation of workers. Through experience of school social workers who are hired and laid off by the state-run Education Welfare Priority Project as a window of thinking about gendered free labor, this talk examines the uniqueness of South Korean education and welfare reforms in the context of constructing two kinds of youth subjects through the Project: first, older youth as care givers through unstable labor as school social workers; and second, younger youth as care receiver and psychological objects in the context of attributing their problems to individual and internal issues. Further, tracing recent unionization efforts among the school social workers, this talk attempts to understand the context of why and how care labor is not readily recognized as a source of exploitation among school social workers. The talk will contribute to advancing analytic tools for understanding the intersection of state employment/exploitation and gendered care labor as an emerging labor neoliberal sector.