"We are Okinawans but of a different kind": New/old social movements and the U.S. Military in Okinawa

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23 Scopus citations


Focusing on the so-called offshore-base dispute after the 1995 rape incident, this article examines the intricacies of Okinawan resistance in the context of the nation-state and the larger processes of global history. In so doing, it aims to advance the potentialities of the new-social-movements literature (concerning everyday practices of culture, identity, and difference) by explicitly restoring old politico-economic questions (class structure and the material conditions of life, along with the unity of agendas and actors) to contemporary social criticism. Showing that a particular Okinawan identity has been produced in the context of improved material conditions of life, it ethnographically examines the articulation of Okinawa's historical unity and contemporary diversity. Attention is given to Okinawa's endeavors to ground its collective consciousness not so much in the notion of a poor, oppressed "people" as in the notion of confident, affluent "citizens" of diverse backgrounds awakened to globally disseminated ideas concerning ecology, peace, women's issues, and human rights. The paper concludes by reclaiming "the romance of resistance" from the somewhat excessive concern of the new-social-movements literature with issues of everyday power and resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-104
Number of pages20
JournalCurrent Anthropology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology


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