By Hendrik Meyer-Ohle | When I was an undergraduate student in the 1980s, majoring at a German University in Japanese Studies (contemporary Japanese society, politics and business) and business administration, there was broad consensus among scholars of Japanese Studies not to engage in explicit country comparisons
Category: Comparing Comparisons
‘Comparing comparisons’ investigates which role comparisons play in different research fields, ultimately tackling the question of how and why we compare in the social sciences and humanities. The blog entries originate from the presentations of the international and interdisciplinary meeting by scholars affiliated with the Max Weber Research Group at the National University of Singapore and researchers from the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ) that took place in Tokyo on 2nd and 3rd December 2019.
By Isaac Gagne | Comparisons are invidious. I encountered this statement early in my anthropological training when reading classic ethnographies that were written within the framework of evolutionary anthropology.
By Felix Mallin | Comparison – or the mental faculty of distinction – is one of the most fundamental ingredients of autonomous life. It aids us in the quotidian tasks of decoding language, emotions, or smells, as well as in making sense of the society and world around us.
By Markus Heckel | In my field of research, which combines Economics and Japanese Studies (trained at the University of Bonn), it soon became clear that eventually I would have to deal with cross-country comparisons.
By Shaun Lin | As a geographer, comparative research is central to my training. In particular analysing the similarities and differences in spatial transformations (both visible and structural) in two or more places.
A ‘Conversation’ on Comparisons between Japanese Studies, Contemporary History and Medieval Art History
By Nora Kottmann | While studying political science at Heidelberg University’s South Asia Institute, I was always told to refrain from making comparisons if and when I would become a researcher. Comparative research, it was said, is an extremely complex research methodology
By Simon Rowedder | If we remember that those we study are also studying us as well as themselves, and that they are all engaged in the human exercise of understanding the play of cultural difference and similarity, we may be able to contribute to making comparison the fruitful, congenial, and open-ended conversation that the discipline’s ethical as well as intellectual commitments demand.
By James D Sidaway and Franz Waldenberger | How and why do we compare in the social sciences and humanities? These are enduring questions. On 2nd and 3rd December 2019, a group of scholars affiliated with the Max Weber Research Group at the National University of Singapore and researchers from the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ) met at the DIJ in Tokyo to compare notes on comparisons.