Ageing bodies and Carceral Circuitry of ‘Post-Welfare’ Japan

13:00 to 14:30
Open Seminar

Stockholm Center for Global Asia invites to this open seminar with Jason Danely.


Over the last two decades, Japan’s ageing population and widening social and economic inequalities have precipitated a sharp rise in the number of older adults living in precarious conditions of isolation and poverty. Within these circumstances of material and existential disconnection, alienation and weariness, crime and incarceration has become not only a means to survive, but also a way of recovering a sense of visibility, meaning, and care. As older bodies circulate between the prison and the community, custody and release, Japanese prisons have come to resemble old age homes, while care facilities and welfare bureaucracies in the community have incorporated techniques of surveillance and discipline indicative of the prison. In this talk, I argue that within this circuitous churn of older bodies, the carceral appears not as discrete institutional faces, but as a multiplicity of traces, repetitions and resonances across the circuit. These traces produce both a normalization of the incarcerated ageing body, as well as atmospheres of the carceral uncanny. Folded into this atmosphere are old age and death, both of which present another kind of uncanny repetition, as well as an engagement with history, memory, and grief. Drawing primarily on five-months of fieldwork with formerly incarcerated adults in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, this talk will describe the lives of those who uneasily inhabit the uncanny terrain of the carceral, and the insights they can give us about ageing societies, dwelling and care in post-welfare states. 

Find more information here.

Stockholm Center for Global Asia
B600 (Building B, 6th floor, Street address: Universitetsvägen 10B)

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