SOAS University of London

Japan Research Centre

Managing (Un)Certainties - Economic Sociology Perspectives on the Japanese Antique Art Trade

IMG - 20141022 - Harald Conrad Seminar
Dr Harald Conrad (University of Sheffield)

Date: 22 October 2014Time: 5:05 PM

Finishes: 22 October 2014Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Seminar


Market actors are commonly faced with solving three distinct coordination problems as sources of uncertainty. How should they value the objects of their trade, how can they shield themselves from the competition, and with whom and how do they cooperate? This paper investigates how Japanese antique art dealers confront these issues. While offering a rich description and analysis of a rather secretive Japanese market, the paper advances also our understanding of how actors actively shape market arrangements to address the specific challenges of their domain. In the case of the Japanese antique art market these challenges include high risk of fakes, a limited quantity of high quality material, “wonnabe” dealers, market outsiders, and dealers with “too much” money.

Speaker Biography

Harald Conrad is Sasakawa Lecturer in Japan’s Economy and Management at the University of Sheffield’s School of East Asian Studies. Prior to his appointment at Sheffield in 2008, he was Associate Professor at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University from 2007 to 2008 and Deputy Director of the German Institute for Japanese Studies in Tokyo from 2005 to 2007. His research interests are in Japanese social policy, human resource management practices, the structure of markets and cross-cultural negotiations. His latest book publications are The Demographic Challenge – a Handbook about Japan, Brill 2008 (co-editor and author) and Human Resource Management in Ageing Societies, Palgrave 2008 (co-editor and author). His latest journal articles have appeared in the International Journal of Human Resource Management, Social Science Japan Journal, The Japanese Economy and Journal of Social Policy. A forthcoming book chapter on changes in Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese employment systems is in the Oxford Handbook of Employment Relations: Comparative Employment Systems. Since April 2011, Harald has been co-editor of Japan Forum.

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