American Anthropologist | VOL. 117
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Food after Fukushima: Risk and Scientific Citizenship in Japan

Publication Date Aug 18, 2015

Abstract

In this article, I explore questions of food safety after the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. In the aftermath of the disaster, people concerned about food safety were sometimes suspicious about the ability of the Japanese state to adequately monitor the food supply and introduce safety standards that they considered strict enough. I use the concept of scientific citizenship to explore the dynamics whereby people's relationship to state expertise was transformed as they learned about the science of radiation. Scientific citizenship was expressed in a desire to circumvent the state to protect the health and life of current and future generations. I focus on the language used to describe food safety to show the work of affective networks of trust in constituting a sense of safety in the postdisaster environment. Ethnographically, I focus on the work of mothers and food activists who banded together to share and disseminate knowledge about radiation so they could protect their own and each other's children. [risk, disaster, food safety, Japan, Fukushima]

Concepts
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Citizenship In Japan
Food Safety
Scientific Citizenship
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant
Work Of Mothers
Postdisaster Environment
People's Relationship
Food Activists
Future Generations
Work Of Activists

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