asiascape vistas

Techno-Culture, New Politics, and Philosophy in East Asia



Asiascape Vistas is a forum for discussion about the many and various dimensions of cyberculture found in or originating from East Asia. Its focus is on the interplay between these media and questions of politics & philosophy. Contributions are from the academic collective responsible for the core project, but other contributions will also be considered by that collective.
If you wish to contribute to Asiacape Vistas, please send an email using the form on the contact page.


Asiascape Ops nr 6 : Japanese Science Fiction in Converging Media

In Asiascape's newest paper in the Occasional Paper Series (Asiascape Ops), Carl Li, Mari Nakamura and Martin Roth (all three are PhD students in the Goto-Jones' project Beyond Utopia), discuss the concept of alienation in Neon Genesis Evangelion:

Neon Genesis Evangelion protagonist Shinji Ikari
Excerpt:
Japanese popular culture, represented primarily by manga and anime, has over the last couple of decades increasingly gained popularity both within and beyond Japan. Based on the assumption that this is partly due to their distinct qualities as media of political expression, this article aims to identify and discuss some of these expressions. Focusing on the SF franchise Neon Genesis Evangelion (hereafter EVANGELION), often regarded as a landmark in the history of Japanese animation, it will trace the recurring concept of alienation through the extremely popular anime (1995), the manga (1995–2012), and the videogame Neon Genesis Evangelion 2 (2003), thus offering an insight into their commonalities as well as their differences.
    “Alienation” is a central concept in modern social and political theory, as well as in sociology and psychology, and refers to “the condition of separation or estrangement.” For Karl Marx, who developed the most influential accounts of alienation in modern social and political theory, alienation is a central critique to modern capitalism. Analyzing the situation of wageworkers in the historical context of modern society, Marx observes that alienation occurs for them in four interrelated senses in capitalist society: alienation from the very product they produce, from the act of production, from their fellow workers, and from their “species-being.” Marx sees “species-being” as the unique human attribute which distinguishes human life from that of the animals, where one’s alienation from their “species-being” in a modern capitalist society is focused through the class structure and the proletariat experience. Thus for Marx, overcoming alienation requires a change in material conditions for a historically specific class of the proletariat by way of their revolutionary activities.

The full article is available at Issuu or can be downloaded as pdf on Asiascape.org's Publication page.
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