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Research Activities

Research Projects

FY 2010/2011 Research Topic: 4-28
Comprehensive Study on Taiwan Ⅲ: Centripetal and Centrifugal Power of Taiwanese Society


This research project aims to determine whether Taiwanese society is becoming more cohesive or dispersed. This question is particularly significant in Taiwan due to its unique circumstances. Taiwan was ceded to Japan in 1895 after the Sino-Japanese War, and the People’s Republic of China was not able to unify it from across the Taiwan Strait during the postwar period, so its development has been almost independent from the mainland for more than 100 years, which has strengthened social unity in Taiwan. In particular, during these two decades of democratization, the number of people who identify themselves as Taiwanese, not Chinese, has considerably increased. However, China has had a strong desire to absorb Taiwan, taking advantage of more harmonious economic relations between the two countries in recent years. At the same time, similar to many advanced countries, Taiwanese society is also faced with transformation of the norm and changes in structures which might weaken the bonds among its people. We analyze this complicated situation in view of many aspects of Taiwanese society, including ethnic issues such as indigenous peoples, the Waishengren (inhabitants who moved to Taiwan after 1945 and their descendants), and recent immigrants, including foreign spouses as well as other issues such as the economic and social exchange across the Taiwan Strait, citizen political society in the post-democratized period, gender and age, social class, and environmental protection. We hope to reach a comprehensive understanding about present Taiwanese society by integrating analyses on rifts and efforts to enhance unity in each aspect of society.


April 2009-February 2011

Members of the Research Project

[ Organizer ] SATO Yukihito
[ Co-researchers ] TERAO Tadayoshi
NUMAZAKI Ichiro (Professor, Tohoku University)
WU Rwei-ren (Assistant Research Fellow, Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica)
SECHIYAMA Kaku (Professor, University of Tokyo)
MATSUKANE Kimimasa (Associate Professor, Utsunomiya University)
KAMIZURU Hisahiko (Assistant Professor, Prefectural University of Hiroshima)
ISHIGAKI Naoki (Lecturer, Okinawa International University)
TANOUE Tomoyoshi (doctoral course student, University of Tokyo)