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dc.contributor.authorWatanabe, Chikaen_US
dc.identifier.otherbibid: 8267074
dc.description.abstractJapanese aid has generally been understood to focus on developmentalist infrastructural projects, but since the 1990s, Japanese aid actors have also emphasized "soft" aid. One example of soft aid is hitozukuri ("making persons"): human resource development activities such as training programs. Based on 20 months of fieldwork tracing a Japanese NGO's activities "making persons" across Japan and Burma/Myanmar, I examine the cultural politics of aspiring to create relational proximity among aid actors that undergirds hitozukuri aid. Specifically, I study the Organizational for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement (OISCA), one of the oldest nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Japan that derives from a Shintobased new religion called Ananaikyō. OISCA has been conducting training programs in sustainable agriculture for Asian rural youth in Japan and around the Asia-Pacific since the 1960s. These programs aim to construct intercultural and interpersonal proximity among aid workers and trainees who live together for a year "like family" in training centers. As one of the most prominent NGOs in Japan that has received significant support from politicians and government officials, I suggest that the aspirations for proximity in OISCA are emblematic of general understandings of hitozukuri aid. While recent studies of humanitarianism have shed light on the paradox between humanitarian ideals and practices, the dilemmas that emerge in the intercultural iv encounters that are at the core of international aid work have been largely overlooked. My dissertation elucidates how aspirations for proximity in cross-cultural relations produce a particular politics of ambivalence in hitozukuri aid. On the one hand, the dominant aspirations for proximity in OISCA generate positive forms of belonging and "being human." On the other hand, such aspirations also involve a violent erasure of differences, at the same time that "cultural differences" are upheld. As such, nationalculturalism and the aspiration for proximity are two sides of the same coin in hitozukuri aid. The dissertation ultimately argues that aid ideologies of humanity based on ideas of proximity should alert us to a politics of global culturalism that is both alluring and violent, producing a variety effects on different aid actors. ven_US
dc.subjectInternational aiden_US
dc.titleAmbivalent Aspirations: Aid And The Cultural Politics Of Proximity In A Japanese Ngo In Burma/Myanmaren_US
dc.typedissertation or thesisen_US Universityen_US of Philosophy D., Anthropology
dc.contributor.chairMiyazaki, Hirokazuen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberWelker, Marina Andreaen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberRiles, Anneliseen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberHodzic, Saidaen_US

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