Cultural Essentialism and Foreigner-as-Criminal Discourse

Part of the Frontiers of Globalization Series book series (FOG)


With a relatively broad focus, this chapter explores the consequences of cultural essentialism — “a system of belief grounded in a conception of human beings as ‘cultural’ (and under certain conditions territorial and national) subjects, i.e., bearers of a culture, located within a bordered world, which defines them and differentiates them from others” (Grillo, 2003, p. 158) — in relation to identifying culture as an excuse through foreigner-as-criminal discourse in Japan. Demonstrated are the ways in which powerful public figures (e.g., politicians, lawmakers, police officers, and criminal court judges) exploit a particular brand of foreigner-as-criminal discourse — paralleling their “politics of anti-multiculturalism” (Eisenberg, 2009, p. 78) — as an integral part of the ideological management of the nation-state.


Criminal Justice Police Officer Prime Minister Crime Statistic Liberal Democratic Party 
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