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Narrative Politics of “Tolerance/Intolerance” in the Global Era

Research period:2018.10-2023.3

YAMA Yoshiyuki




It is anticipated that trends in human migration will intensify and multicultural conditions will spread in tandem with rapid advances in globalization. Many of the Western nations referred to as the Great Powers have experienced heavy inflows of migrants from former colonies. This is an ironic phenomenon that deserves description as unexpected in one sense yet inevitable in another. Under these global-scale changes in the social environment coupled with a changing media environment that transcends oral and written traditions, the experiences of those who have welcomed “strangers” they perceive as cultural outsiders have reached a scale that defies comparison in either qualitative or quantitative terms with the scenarios portrayed by past versions of the “outsider theory.” Moreover, in this age of large-scale human migration, having an experience as an outsider is something that to some extent could apply to anyone. The problem is that these trends have fueled conflicts of varying scale and led to the rise of increasingly “intolerant” societies.
In this study, we will explore the “outsider theory” for clues that can aid in addressing and resolving these conditions. The academic traditions of cultural anthropology and ethnology have amassed a body of research on the “outsider theory,” which has to do with the acceptance, rejection, scorn, fear, admiration, and other notions and behaviors associated with the treatment of outsiders, or “strangers.” This study aims to reconsider and rectify viewpoints and methodologies that derive from the “outsider theory” and on that basis explore paths to the solution of modern issues from a humanities perspective.