Local perspective. Global mindset.

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社会開発とグローバル化の文化人類学 研究室


I focus on  various issues that emerge in the process of development and globalization through the approaches of cultural anthropology and Southeast Asian regional studies. In my study, the dual concept of development and globalization – a (post) modern device of knowledge and power – is the arena  where various cultures and systems meet, interact, and negotiate in today’s world. I look into how the relationship among individuals, the family,  community, society, and the state are being reconfigured, and accordingly, how the intimate sphere and the public sphere are being transformed and intermingled along with the contemporary transitions of a globalizing world. I aspire to lay the groundwork for present and future  academic analysis of  what alternative institutions, values, and vision have become vital in the contemporary world.


In particular,  what predicaments, dilemmas, possibilities and “hope” exist in cases of developing countries with so-called weak states? My research examines the unique path among these countries compared to the experience of the West (including Japan) of having gone through modern welfare states.  I focus on  social development and government of urban poor communities, governmentality in  transnational social fields, as well as political ecology of natural resource management. My field work has taken me to sites including the Philippines, Japan, and the United States. (Photo: A Visayan fishing village)



I adopt a cultural anthropological approach  in which both an ethnography based on a “thick description” of multiple and complex social relationships and social events in the locality, and an accompanying field work that develops rapport among the people in the field are considered vital. With this approach, I attempt to deal critically with the  institution, knowledge, and theory that have universal relevance while viewing them from a local perspective, which is ultimately gained through active participation in the life world of different cultures. Moreover,  in order to appropriately respond to burgeoning global issues, I also rely on a regional studies approach by focusing on the uniqueness of the local society. (Photo: Fieldwork course in Kita-hiroshima Town)

Koki Seki is a Professor in the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences  – International Peace and Co-existence Program of Hiroshima University. He is also a member of the faculty of the Department of Integrated Global Studies under the College of Integrated Arts and Sciences.  Email:  seki{at}hiroshima-u.ac.jp.