Curriculum Vitaes

Slater David


Profile Information

Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Department of Liberal Arts, Sophia University
B.A.(Vassar College)
M.A.(University of Chicago)
PH.D.(University of Chicago)

Contact information
Researcher number
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My research focuses on the following topics: social class and capitalism; youth culture; employment and labor; education; urban form and society; semiotics. Japan.

Youth Culture; Education; Social Class; Digitality and New Technology; Urban Form and Society; Semiotics. Japan

(Subject of research)
New forms of digital technology used by youth
Freeter Culture


  • David H. Slater
    This is a collection of original articles on diverse vulnerable populations in Japan in the wake of the new coronavirus pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 are felt differently, with some among us at much greater risk of infection due to preexisting health and welfare conditions. For others, perhaps more than the risk of infection, it is the precautions taken to mitigate the risk for the whole population, such as lockdowns and business closures, that have pulled away the already fragile safety net of state and civil society organization (CSO) support, leading to increased marginalization and social exclusion. The goal of this set of papers is to document the conditions of those that have been most directly affected by the virus and to provide background on the conditions that made them vulnerable in the first place, notably chronic conditions that are brought into more obvious relief in light of emergency measures. Each of the authors had a pre-established relationship with those affected populations and employed various ethnographic approaches, some face to face, others digitally via Zoom interviews and SNS exchanges. In this moment of what appears to be relative calm, we hope that our collection, quickly compiled in an attempt to capture the ever-changing situation, will give some insight into how those most vulnerable are faring in this time of crisis and provide information that will allow us to prepare better before the next wave comes our way.
  • David H. Slater, Rose Barbaran
    ASIA-PACIFIC JOURNAL-JAPAN FOCUS, 18(18), Sep, 2020  Peer-reviewed
    In the context of the global increase in displaced people, spiking to nearly 80 million in these corona times, Japan has also seen a dramatic increase in the number of applications for refugee asylum since 2010. Despite increasing numbers of applications, Japan has not increased its refugee recognition rate. Unable to return home to sure persecution when rejected, many refugees end up in Japanese detention centers once their visa expires. Like jails, hospitals and detention centers everywhere, detention centers in Japan are crowded and dangerous and unable to protect the detainees inside. Japan has been slower than many other countries to take precautions, including temporary release. This paper outlines some of the policy shifts that have led to this dangerous situation, the conditions of anxiety inside the detention centers themselves in Tokyo and Ibaraki and the problematic situation of "provisional release" of some detainees into a corona-infested Japan without any safety net or protection. We hope to not only point out the immediate danger of infection under COVID-19, but also the larger dynamic of using detention to manage a refugee asylum system that has proven to be ineffective and unjust.
  • David H. Slater, Sara Ikebe
    Of the many populations at risk in these corona times, the homeless are among the most vulnerable. Without shelter, having to do without personal protective equipment, often without health insurance and unable to limit contact with strangers, the risk of infection is very high. The emergency measures taken by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government included the closure of many public spaces, indoors and out, depriving them of access to the few spaces of survival. This ethnographic article outlines how an older group of homeless men responded to the risk of infection and inconsistent government efforts to address this issue. Finally, we examine the response of civil society organizations to compensate for weakness of the government's response.
  • David H. Slater
    AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST, 121(2) 538-539, May, 2019  
  • Love Kindstrand, Keiko Nishimura, David H. Slater
    Routledge Handbook of East Asian Popular Culture, 148-157, Dec 1, 2016  Peer-reviewed

Books and Other Publications

  • Slater David (Role: Joint author)
    Flick Studio, Jun, 2012 (ISBN: 9784904894026)
    An ethnographic analysis of the configuration and use of space in a Tokyo evacuation center (避難所)
  • Slater David (Role: Joint author)
    Routledge, Mar 11, 2012 (ISBN: 9780415698566)
    This paper charts chronologically the different phases since 3.11, showing how social media became involved in each. During the first crucial moments after disaster, individuals texting and tweeting information, and uploading videos, generated huge amounts of first-hand information, from the size and epicenter of the quake to the arrival of the oncoming waters; the identification of dangerous and safe places, routes and contacts; those lost and alive, and those looking for them. What we see here is not only the nearly unprecedented act of appealing to strangers for help, but also the revealing of emotions that rarely if ever is shared in public discourse. Asking for help from strangers is a significant act of trust, maybe even more unusual in Japan than in other societies; offering help is a way to return that trust. In this way, one of the issues that this paper points to is the way that social media as deployed during and after 3.11 has made us rethink the civic sphere in Japan.
  • Slater David (Role: Joint author, 103-115)
    Routledge, Sep, 2011 (ISBN: 9780415436496)
  • Slater David (Role: Joint editor)
    Journal of the Society for Cultural Anthropology, Sep, 2011
    We solicited entries now, as events are still unfolding, from those who are at the center of these shifts. We asked them to address in 500-700 words some aspect of the unfolding crisis that has become known as 3.11, as Fukushima, We have collected those entries that cluster around a common theme: what are the political implications, from international to intimate, of the shifting relationships between nature, culture and society since 3.11? The entries here document both the fear and anger of these past months, but also the hope and possibility that these fragile and emergent forms might lead to a new 3.11 politics in post-disaster Japan.
  • Slater David
    Routledge, Mar 1, 2009

Research Projects