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  • Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists: The Gender Politics of Food Contamination after Fukushima

    Author(s):
    Pages: 224
    Illustrations: 3 illustrations
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
  • Cloth: $84.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-6182-4
  • Paperback: $23.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-6199-2
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  • Abbreviations  ix

    Preface   xi

    Acknowledgments  xiii

    Introduction  1

    1. "Moms with Radiation Brain": Gendered Food Policing in the Name of Science  27

    2. Engineering of Citizens  55

    3. School Lunches: Science, Motherhood, and Joshi Power  78

    4. Citizen Radiation-Measuring Organizations  104

    5. The Temporality of Contaminants  132

    Conclusion  155

    Notes  159

    References  173

    Index  201
  • "Most directly, Radiation Brain Moms will appeal to those in science, technology, and society (STS) studies, women and gender studies, and Asian studies. Because academics in many countries live in neoliberal, scientific, postfeminist societies where the risks of nuclear disaster lurk, the book should interest all."

    "Aya Hirata Kimura offers a new and challenging perspective on Fukushima recovery, especially its meaning for citizen science. . . . Kimura's book is well worth examining in depth."

    "[T]he important information isn’t radiation levels, but the work of women in resisting the dominant narrative. [Kimura] reminds us that 'subaltern people engage in actions that might not look like much but still chip away at the space occupied by authorities' and that this is a significant model for resisting the forces of neoliberal capitalism."

    Reviews

  • "Most directly, Radiation Brain Moms will appeal to those in science, technology, and society (STS) studies, women and gender studies, and Asian studies. Because academics in many countries live in neoliberal, scientific, postfeminist societies where the risks of nuclear disaster lurk, the book should interest all."

    "Aya Hirata Kimura offers a new and challenging perspective on Fukushima recovery, especially its meaning for citizen science. . . . Kimura's book is well worth examining in depth."

    "[T]he important information isn’t radiation levels, but the work of women in resisting the dominant narrative. [Kimura] reminds us that 'subaltern people engage in actions that might not look like much but still chip away at the space occupied by authorities' and that this is a significant model for resisting the forces of neoliberal capitalism."

  • "Riveting and smart, Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists tracks the efforts made by citizens in post-Fukushima Japan to ensure the safety of their food from radioactive contamination. In the face of state neglect and criticism from fellow Japanese, these initiatives display a 'soft' boldness (versus activist politics). Interweaving stories of citizen scientists and 'radiation brain moms' with sharp theoretics that deconstruct the entanglements of science, neoliberalism, and postfeminism at work, this book is at once powerful and timely." — Anne Allison, author of, Precarious Japan

    "Based on careful research, extensive fieldwork, and a judicious use of political and feminist theory, this book's relevance to political and social developments extends beyond Japan's borders. It is a reminder of the ongoing effects of the Fukushima disaster in Japan at a time when these effects are being increasingly ignored by the global media. A timely and important book, Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists will appeal to scholars of contemporary Japanese society as well as science and technology studies scholars, especially those interested in the gender dimensions of science and technology." — Tessa Morris-Suzuki, author of, Borderline Japan: Foreigners and Frontier Controls in the Postwar Era

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  • Description

    Following the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster in 2011 many concerned citizens—particularly mothers—were unconvinced by the Japanese government’s assurances that the country’s food supply was safe. They took matters into their own hands, collecting their own scientific data that revealed radiation-contaminated food. In Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists Aya Hirata Kimura shows how, instead of being praised for their concern about their communities’ health and safety, they faced stiff social sanctions, which dismissed their results by attributing them to the work of irrational and rumor-spreading women who lacked scientific knowledge. These citizen scientists were unsuccessful at gaining political traction, as they were constrained by neoliberal and traditional gender ideologies that dictated how private citizens—especially women—should act. By highlighting the challenges these citizen scientists faced, Kimura provides insights into the complicated relationship between science, foodways, gender, and politics in post-Fukushima Japan and beyond.

    About The Author(s)

    Aya Hirata Kimura is Associate Professor of Women's Studies at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa and the author of Hidden Hunger: Gender and Politics of Smarter Foods.
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