Hokkaido Dairy Farm

Cosmopolitics of Otherness and Security on the Frontiers of Japan

Paul Hansen

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State University of New York Press img Link Publisher

Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Pädagogik


Hokkaido Dairy Farm offers a historical and ethnographic examination of the rapid industrialization of the dairy industry in Tokachi, Hokkaido. It begins with a history of dairy farming and consumption in Hokkaido from a macro perspective, mapping the transition from survival to subsistence and then from mixed family farms to monoculture and "mega" industrial operations. It then narrows the focus to examine concrete changes in a Tokachi-area dairying community that has undergone rapid sociocultural upheaval over the last three decades, with shifts in human relationships alongside changes in human and cow connections through new technologies. In the final chapters, the scope is further narrowed to a detailed history and ethnography of a single industrializing dairy farm and the morphing cast of individuals attached to it, centering on their idiosyncratic searches for economic, social, and even ontological security in what is popularly considered a peripheral region and industry. The culmination of over fifteen years of ethnographic, policy, and historical research, Hokkaido Dairy Farm argues that the dairy industry in Japan has always been entwined with notions of Otherness and security seeking, notably in terms of frontiers.

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