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At Home and in the FieldEthnographic Encounters in Asia and the Pacific Islands$
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Suzanne S. Finney, Mary Mostafanezhad, Guido Carlo Pigliasco, and Forrest Wade Young

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824847593

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824847593.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 04 August 2021

The Cultural Power of Robots in Japan

The Cultural Power of Robots in Japan

(p.56) The Cultural Power of Robots in Japan
At Home and in the Field

Hirofumi Katsuno

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter addresses an increasingly popular new topic for “rerouting” ethnographic inquiry: science and technology studies (STS) that examine how scientific knowledge is culturally produced. In particular, the chapter focuses on the cultural expression of humanoid robots in Japan and their social impact in society. Conducting fieldwork “at home” in Japan, this chapter shows that by deep participant observation in the daily lives of robot builders—through the construction of a robot, direct participation within the Japanese robotics community, and self-reflections recorded in a field journal—the author is able to understand and identify with the sociocultural world of Japanese robotics.

Keywords:   participant observation, Japan, Japanese robotics, Japanese robot culture, Robo-One, STS, humanoid robots, sociocultural impact

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