Time, Politics and Homelessness in Contemporary Japan

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Abstract

This paper examines heterotopias of homelessness in contemporary Japan. Against received claims about a shift from a social to a post-social form of politics, the paper draws attention to distinct temporal horizons that shape statist and precarious political subjectivities at sites of economic abandonment, complicating generalizations about the demise of the social and the shift to new (post-representational) political practices in neoliberal Japan. In contrast to the politics of representation that continue to mobilize statist social imaginaries around advocacy and care for the homeless, political heterotopias of homelessness index a critical refusal of hegemonic interpellations of home and home-coming. In an effort to expand understanding of the political in Japan, the paper draws attention to the multiple temporalities constitutive of the social space of homelessness. In so doing, it seeks to make visible fugitive forms of political subjectivities beyond statist and neoliberal enclosure, and contribute more broadly to a critical discourse on the nature of politics in contemporary Japan.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-142
Number of pages26
JournalProtoSociology
Volume29
Issue number-
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

Keywords

  • homeless persons
  • homelessness
  • poor people
  • squatters
  • liberalism

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