November 10, 2005

Lecture explores media impact on Japanese culture

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill -- A journalism professor will discuss the ways in which the Japanese culture assimilated Western ideas and values during a lecture next week at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Atsushi Tajima, of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, will present "Transnational Flow of Racial Ideology: Caucasianization of Japan" at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, in Room 1032 in the Communications Building. The event is free and open to the public.

The Global Media Research Center, part of the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts, is sponsoring the lecture.

Tajima focuses on global media practices and ways in which news and entertainment affect how audiences think about themselves and the world. Tajima's research also touches on the media and cultural production and international and intercultural communication.

The presentation, which covers parts of Tajima's dissertation research, discusses race, ethnicity and cultural identity to explore how images and ideas move from one culture to another. In particular, Tajima argues the Japanese vigorously incorporated Western cultures and ideologies into their society and Westerners, particularly the white race, are a new racial reference for them. The Japanese attempted not only to obtain a status equal to the West, but also to distinguish themselves from other non-white people, Tajima writes.

Tajima holds undergraduate degrees in mechanical engineering and journalism. He received his doctorate from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

For more information, contact Laura Germann at or 618/453-6876.

Developing citizen-leaders with global perspectives is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.