Accepted paper:

Goodwill, free will, and the labour market as a site of ethical action in the Japanese animation industry

Authors:

Tomohiro Morisawa (Stockholm School of Economics)

Paper short abstract:

Based on 12-months fieldwork, this paper examines the mutual indebtedness of moral sensibilities and paid labour in the context of commercial animation making in Tokyo, Japan.

Paper long abstract:

This paper examines the mutual indebtedness of moral sensibilities and paid labour in the context of commercial animation making in Tokyo, Japan. Based on 12-months fieldwork, the paper ethnographically focuses on young animation makers who have to work extremely long hours with little job security as a path toward the realisation of their dreams. The concept of 'labour market' is one not many anthropologists use as part of their standard analytical lexicon. Yet I argue the ethnographic look at the labour market of the Japanese animation industry can expose the entanglements of the moral and the economic vividly with broader anthropological implications; for it is where labour, arguably the most controversial commodity since Adam Smith, becomes striped of its moral qualities and transformed into one of many economic resources for capitalist production.

panel P70
Virtue in the marketplace