SAGE Journal Articles

Journal Article 1: Prieler, M. (2010). Othering, racial hierarchies and identity construction in Japanese television advertising. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 13, 511–529.

Abstract: Although non-Japanese actors have appeared in Japanese television commercials for years, little systematic research has been conducted on them. Using a sample of 20,000 commercials, this article shows that the inclusion of ‘Others’ in TV commercials conforms to an artificial ‘racial hierarchy’ that mirrors Japanese society’s perception of racial groups. White people appear more often than all other groups combined, are represented through discernible stereotypes and advertise nearly all product categories. By contrast, blacks and non-Japanese Asians are associated with a narrower range. The former appear as musicians and athletes; the latter are either famous celebrities or associated with products from their countries of origin. These ‘Others’ are often stereotyped in ways that differentiate them from Japanese. Overall, this article provides insight into the attitudes of the Japanese toward ‘Others’, contributing both to the long-standing discourse of Japanese exceptionalism (nihonjinron) and the understanding of Japanese society in a globalizing world.

Journal Article 2: Schraml, C. (2014). How is ethnicity experienced? Essentialist and constructivist notions of ethnicity in Rwanda and Burundi. Ethnicities, 14, 615–633.

Abstract: This article argues that the mainstream (constructivist) theorizing about ethnicity should be expanded in order to take essentialist aspects that are present in the notions of “potential ethnics” into account. By focusing on the notions of “potential ethnics”, that is, in this case Rwandans and Burundians, one avoids the oversimplification that still persists in the debate about essentialist and constructivist approaches to ethnicity. Qualitative interviews conducted between September 2007 and May 2008 show that Rwandans and Burundians do not conceive of ethnic categories as either constructivist or essentialist, but that constructivist and essentialist notions exist next to each other and are strongly intertwined in the different lines of reasoning. These findings support arguments criticizing the dominant constructivist theories (about being Hutu and Tutsi) as being unable to capture the complexity of ethnic realities.

Journal Article 3: Fox, J. (2001). Clash of civilizations or clash of religions: Which is a more important determinant of ethnic conflict? Ethnicities, 1, 295–320.

Abstract: Samuel Huntington's ‘clash of civilizations’ argument that in the future most conflicts will be between civilizations has been the source of considerable debate within international relations. Among the criticisms of this argument is the fact that there is a considerable overlap between Huntington's concept of civilizations and religion. In fact, only one of Huntington's eight civilizations has no obvious religious component. This raises the question of whether the concept of civilizations is really a surrogate for religion. Accordingly, this study examines the influence of both religion and Huntington's concept of civilizations on ethnic conflict using data from the Minorities at Risk Phase 3 dataset as well as data on religion and civilizations collected independently. The results show that while there is considerable overlap between religion and civilization, the two are not the same. Also, while it is not clear whether religious or civilizational differences have a greater impact on ethnic conflict, it is clear that neither are they its primary cause. These results cast serious doubt on the validity of Huntington's hypothesis, at least as far as it concerns ethnic conflict.

Journal Article 4: Imre, A. (2009). National intimacy and post-socialist networking. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 12, 219–233.

Abstract: Social networking sites have become a part of everyday life in post-Soviet cultures. 'International Who is Who' (Iwiw) is unparalleled in its popularity. Modelled after Friendster, Iwiw had 1.5 million registered users in Hungary (a country of 10 million) by 2006, when it was purchased by Deutsche Telecom. The emergence, rapid growth and functioning of this predominantly language and location-based virtual public space provide valuable insight into the formation of a networked public in post-socialist cultures. The article discusses the political and economic context of Iwiw's emergence in comparison with popular social network sites of a global reach such as Facebook and MySpace. It introduces the notion of `national intimacy' to reflect on a specific post-communist tension between the democratic model of interaction presented by Iwiw and the national boundaries of this model; and between the global potential of the technology and its restricted, national use.

Journal Article 5: Ifukor, P. (2010). “Elections” or “selections”? Blogging and Twittering the Nigerian 2007 general elections. Bulletin of Science Technology Society, 30, 398–414.

Abstract: This article examines the linguistic construction of textual messages in the use of blogs and Twitter in the Nigerian 2007 electoral cycle comprising the April 2007 general elections and rerun elections in April, May, and August 2009. A qualitative approach of discourse analysis is used to present a variety of discursive acts that blogging and microblogging afford social media users during the electoral cycle. The data are culled from 245 blog posts and 923 tweets. The thesis of the study is that citizens’ access to social media electronically empowers the electorates to be actively involved in democratic governance. Electronic empowerment is a direct result of access to social media (and mobile telephony) by more citizens who constitute the electorates. This encourages more public discussions about politics and makes the democratic process more dynamic than in the pre—social media era. An analysis of the data shows that there is a dialectical relationship between social media discourse and the process of political empowerment.