Refugeeism and Denizenship

by Asuko Sugino

First of all, I’ll talk about the definitions of “refugeeism” and ”denizenship”, secondly I’ll refer to where refugees or denizens might belong to instead, and then finally I’d like to mention an example of one refugee in the Philippines who made the organization working for equality and social justice.

The word “refugee” in Precarious Japan by Anne Allison is used in a broad sense. That is to say, it indicates everyone who doesn’t have the place where they can feel comfortable or a sense of home, rather than the people who live in a tent in a refugee camp. She declares to us that this refugeeism has become “ordinary” in Japan which can’t provide “ibasho” for the citizen, citing many examples of “net café refugees” or “temps”. These refugees cannot be equal to non-refugees in various ways (shelter, stable salary, guarantee for future).

On the other hand, “denizen” in this article doesn’t include the above-mentioned examples such as Japanese net café refugees or temp workers. Refugees don’t have “ibasho” but “citizenship” at least. “Denizen” lacks not only secure job, where to return but also their own citizenship, therefore they are not regarded as citizen but resident alien. I think that “denizens” lacks both of equal status and rights, while “refugees” lacks just equal status. To make the worse, according to Anne Allison, denizenship is made use of and exploited by global capitalism because denizens have no choice but to stand working at low wage, with short-term contract and few benefits. Additionally, this system using denizen labors is plotted on purpose and the number of them will increase.

Now, where do they find alternative “ibasho”? In my opinion, both of refugees and denizens tend to seek it at anti-social organizations such as gangster organizations or crime syndicates, because society robbed them of essential status and rights. Some decide to soak themselves into drugs or alcohol without seeking alternative “ibasho”. However, some people try to alter by themselves the wrong social system, facing the reason why the society failed to give them the benefits to be granted. The following is one example.

In the Philippines, 10 years ago, one 16-year boy named Eflen Penyaflorida living in a slum in Manila was worried about the future of his hometown. The children surrounding him supported their families’ living by gathering garbage, so most of them don’t receive an education and become gang members as they grew up. He hoped the gangs in Manila would disappear by receiving enough education to gain ordinary jobs. He established “DTC (Dynamic Teen Company)” and started teaching the children by himself breaking down their parents’ opposition. Now, the scale of the organization is as large as the school and it was awarded a prize by CNN. Eflen didn’t look for his new “ibasho”, but create it by himself.

Everyone cannot make their own “ibasho” by their hands, still we have the responsibility for trying to make the proper place for “refugees” or “denizens” instead of anti-social places, as a member of the society.

Reference

Allison, Anne. 2013. Precarious Japan. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements

Seeking belonging in organizations

by Ayaka Sasaki

Lacking equal rights and equal status make us seek to belong an organization or group. However, I think that belonging a good organization or a bad organization depends on individuals. In this blog post, I point to bad organizations as organizations that bring bad effect on society, like extreme cults and so on. And I think that belonging elsewhere, like in a good organization is good. By doing this, they can feel relaxed, even they hold a lot of problems that are related to their lives.

From this, I think that someone throw oneself into a dangerous religion or cult group, they require relaxation from the struggle of living. I read an interesting article about cult, and in this article, the reason why people are inspired by cult.

The reason which is given in article was convincing. Because cults fill such a requirements:

  • physical requirements—food, shelter, clothing and job
  • social  requirements, friendship—reciprocal help and love
  • status, the feeling that I have power—this might be attractive to young people especially.
  • dependency needs—they can get a relationship like parents-children.
  • escape from responsibility—the leader take the risk or responsibility.

I felt an odd impression from these requirements. That is, cults fill the social problems in the society. Then, the society cannot fill them, a cult emerges and fills them. Thus, the government or organizations like NGO or NPO should act to fill these requirements.

In reverse, how about those who belong to an organization working for equality and social justice? I feel a good impression, because they try to face the bad parts of society and struggle to get better lives than today.

However, I think only belonging to an organization is not a solution of denizenship or refugeeism. We must face the problems or ugly aspects which Japanese society holds. Moreover, it is an only solution to them, and not only the organizations but also the governments should try to solve them.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Denizenship and refugeeism

by Shiori Nabeshima

In the sliding-down society, as Anne Allison expressed the Japanese circumstances, once people slip off to the bottom, it is hard to climb up to recover the former situation. It seems that the ‘angle’ is becoming sharper than before to make more people slide down. It means that even though the top or middle and bottom people are all Japanese, the gap between them in terms of equality and rights is widening. Especially temporary or contracted workers are overworked like slaves to support the society. Where are their rights of citizenship? Are they actually regarded as citizens? In Precarious Japan, Allison uses the words denizenship and refugeeism.

Essentially in Britain, the people who are categorized as ‘denizens’ are foreigners who are granted a status similar to resident aliens. Resident aliens have usually rights such as residential, social and economic right, but not electoral rights. It shows that some countries guarantee basic rights to foreigners. Although not all countries give all rights to foreigners, the citizens should have guaranteed all rights by their countries.

Most of people, such as net café nanmin, temp or contracted workers and the working poor which Allison mentioned in her book, are Japanese. Even though they are Japanese, some of them do not have fixed residences, cannot receive security as citizens and are struggling to live on minimum wage. Some of them are paid less than needed to receive welfare, but their welfare applications have been denied.

Right now, their rights are below denizens, such as non-citizens. Therefore Allison introduced the new word “refugeeism”. Refugeeism is as the spread of the nation-state made “belonging to the community into which one is born no longer a matter of course and not belonging no longer a matter of choice”. Being disconnected makes them to be refugees. In the story of Moyai, many precariats were estranged from their family or feel alone because they are precariats. This is led by the notion of winners and losers. Frequently, society rejects those who are in precarious situations. It sometimes makes people join hate groups or cults. As with the experience of Karin Amamiya, the people who are members of hate groups or cults tend to accept precariats. If the others or society accept them, they do not need to join such group.

Japanese society should become more tolerant to those who are precarious and prevent them to fall from the safety net.

Reference

Allison, Anne. 2013. Precarious Japan. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Equal status and rights

Anonymous student post

Every person in a society has the right to be treated equally, to vote or to work, whatever their sex, religion, or race. I think that denizenship is a fundamental human right. However, if you are migrant or refugee, you may not be allowed those rights. They do not find secure job, citizenship or security at home. This is the strange condition. Every people should be granted those fundamental rights.

A refugee is a person who has been forced to leave their home country in order to escape war, persecution or natural disaster. It is involved in many factors such as social, political or religious. They want a stable or safe life. However, there is a critical reality. I think that they have rights that they live ordinary life as we live. Besides, a migrant is a person who moves from one place to another place in order to find work or make money. They are also said the same thing. Recently, it seems that globalization is advancing in the world. Many companies start to expand overseas. So the mobility of economy is more active. Then a stream of people between nations is also active. I think that the number of refugees and immigrants increases because of globalization.

I think that many people want to belong to elsewhere. As Anne Allison writes, “Everyone needs a place, identity, affiliation. We need an ‘ibasho’ that finds us necessary.” Ibasho is a place where people feel relaxed or comfortable, such as home, school or office. Then equal status or right may lead to those feelings. I do not know that whether it is good or bad. It depends on their thoughts. Then it is difficult to achieve equal status or right.

In Japan, there is a word of ‘kakusa shakai’. It means the present economic structure with severe disparity. There is the difference of salary between regular and contract or irregular worker. Foreign or immigrant workers are also influenced. Many people belong to social organization or company and work there. Some people build private business management. I do not know where belong to elsewhere or work in the future. Then I hope that it is to achieve the equal status or right. In addition, immigrant or refugee live a stable life. There are many issues to achieve. The government or international organization or agency establish some policies about immigrants and refugees or provide some assistance.

Reference

Allison, Anne. 2013. Precarious Japan. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Enhanced by Zemanta