Media and Civic Engagement in Japan
Urban Japan is a highly commercialized media society. On commuter trains, most passengers are absorbed with their media devices: cell phones, e-mail, videogames, music, books, papers, or magazines. Those not actively engaged are inundated with images: print ads on plaster-free surfaces, videos ads dance on in-car screens. The tableau of Shibuya station at rush hour epitomizes modern Japan: high-rise buildings festooned with billboards and jumbotrons, masses staring at them, waiting for the light to change.
Media is so ubiquitous here, its presence is forgotten, specifically its influence on how we communicate, relate to the world, construct our identities, and engage civically. Rarely considered are the natures of institutions dominating the use of media technologies. Most are commercial, governmental, or both. Many media scholars take as axiomatic that in media-saturated societies, social reality is constructed by media texts, technologies and institutions, which usually...
KeywordsSocial Movement Civic Engagement Mainstream Medium News Site Civic Group
This research was conducted with the financial support of Japanese tax payers in the form of a JSPS fellowship and a Kyoto Prefectural International Friendship Ambassador Subsidy.
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