The departure point for this introduction is the proposition that youth unemployment and underemployment are not social anomalies, but they are the new faces of labor for youth in East Asia. This introductory essay argues that a global crisis in capitalism that began in the early 1970s and peaked in the late 1990s pressured China, Japan, and South Korea to mobilize (and disenfranchise) their young demographics in their transitions from a developmental state model of economic growth toward a neoliberal model of economic management and governance. As such, the essay argues, China, Japan, and South Korea gamble with the future of their younger population in order to secure their country's place in neoliberal globalization. Further, the introduction reviews pertinent literature on the developmental state, neoliberalism, affective/emotional labor, and postcapitalist politics that the contributors engage in developing their arguments. Lastly, it offers an overview of the specific facets of youth unemployment and underemployment that the individual authors explore in their essays.
Gabriella Lukacs; Labor Games: Youth, Work, and Politics in East Asia. positions 1 August 2015; 23 (3): 381–409. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10679847-3125799
Download citation file: