This is found in a new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, which explores the cosmopolitan context comprised by the creative scene in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City.
The doctoral thesis is an ethnological study of individuals born in Japan in the 1970s and ‘80s who have moved to New York – or more exactly to Williamsburg in Brooklyn – to engage in creative activities and lifestyles far from the conventions and demands of their home country. In the 1990s, many creative young people from all over the world started moving to the Williamsburg district to work with for example fashion, music, art and photography.
As part of her thesis, Lisa Wiklund has studied the creative context in Williamsburg and how it gives the young individuals in the district an opportunity to distance themselves from conventional middle class lifestyles by adopting a partly alternative view of consumption and work.
Japanese adults born in the 1970s and 1980s belong to a unique generation as they are enjoying opportunities that simply were not available to their parents. These opportunities are largely the result of the major changes experienced in recent years, including of course the considerable globalisation.
‘The persons I studied and interviewed are examples of how a globalised world can enable people to break away from national norms regarding for example middle class identity, gender roles and sexuality. There is obviously a powerful innate force in these opportunities,’ says Wiklund.
However, the decision to move away and choose alterative paths in terms of career and family building also implies that a future return to the home country can be difficult since certain contexts and ties will at that point have been given up.
‘One of the most important points made in my thesis is that our different experiences, formed for example by national circumstances, do not mean that we are are solely products of our ”cultures” - we are also sometimes able to make inconvenient and unexpected decisions.
The young people in Williamsburg are often called hipsters and are sometimes portrayed in media as lazy and inutile individualists. A global recession and a changed labour market is however affecting young peoples possibility to find jobs with decent income and job security”.
‘The Japanese in Williamsburg are a clear example of this global tendency as the collapse of Japan’s bubble economy in the ‘90s had major consequences for their position in the labour market. The position of the middle class is not as solid as in the past and poor financial decisions can have serious consequences also for individuals from relatively “secure” backgrounds,’ says Wiklund.
The study is based on ethnographical fieldwork conducted in New York and Japan 2008-2012. Sixteen young Japanese participated in the study. At the time of the study, they worked as photographers, designers, artists and musicians.
For more information please contact:
tel.: +46 (0)739 81 54 26,
More articles from Social Sciences:
Long-Term Study PIAAC-L approved by German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
10.12.2013 | GESIS - Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
New research identifies why young adults return to the parental home
12.11.2013 | University of Southampton
The molecular architecture of three key proteins and their complexes reveals how plants fine-tune their immune response to pathogens
Plants rarely get sick in their natural environment. When the threat of infection arises, a quick decision is made about the necessary countermeasures. The course is set by a protein which forms complexes with its partner proteins for this purpose.
Jane Parker from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding ...
Researchers studying speciation of butterfly orchids on the Azores have been startled to discover that the answer to a long-debated question "Do the islands support one species or two species?" is actually "three species".
Hochstetter's Butterfly-orchid, newly recognized following application of a battery of scientific techniques and reveling in a complex taxonomic history worthy of Sherlock Holmes, is arguably Europe's rarest orchid species. Under threat in its mountain-top retreat, the orchid urgently requires conservation recognition.
A lavishly illustrated publication, titled "Systematic revision of Platanthera in ...
Researchers from Brown University and the University of Hawaii have found some mineralogical surprises in the Moon's largest impact crater.
Data from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper that flew aboard India's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter shows a diverse mineralogy in the subsurface of the giant South Pole Aitken basin.
The differing mineral signatures could be reflective of the minerals dredged up at the time of the giant impact 4 billion years ago, ...
In power electronics systems bonded connections create the central electrical connections between adjoining surfaces.
The quality of these bonded connections is one of the main factors that determines the reliability and availability of drive systems in electric vehicles, and hence constitutes a major design challenge for German auto manufacturers aiming to electrify their vehicles.
Now the partners participating in the RoBE (Robust Bonds in ...
International team of scientists develops new feedback method for optimizing the laser pulse shapes used in the control of chemical reactions
In many ways, traditional chemical synthesis is similar to cooking. To alter the final product, you can change the ingredients or their ratio, change the method of mixing ingredients, or change the temperature or pressure of the environment of the ingredients.
Like an accomplished chef, chemists have become very skilled ...
11.12.2013 | Information Technology
11.12.2013 | Life Sciences
11.12.2013 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
11.12.2013 | Event News
10.12.2013 | Event News
05.12.2013 | Event News