© 2016

Migration, Whiteness, and Cosmopolitanism

Europeans in Japan


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Miloš Debnár
    Pages 1-26
  3. Migration

  4. Integration and Privilege

  5. Cosmopolitanism

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 177-177
    2. Miloš Debnár
      Pages 209-227
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 229-235

About this book


This book analyzes the increase in contemporary European migration to Japan, its causes and the lives of Europeans in Japan. It aims to deconstruct the picture of highly skilled, privileged, cosmopolitan elites that has been frequently associated with white or Western migrants. By focusing on the case of Europeans rather than Westerners migrating to such a highly developed, non-Western country as Japan, this book offers new insights on increasing diversity in migration and its outcomes for integration of migrants. The book is based on interviews with 57 subjects from various parts of Europe occupying various positions within Japanese society. What are the motivations for choosing Japan, how do white migrants enjoy the ‘privilege’ based on their race, what are its limits, and to what extent are the social worlds of such migrants characterized by cosmopolitanism rather than ethnicity? These are the main questions this book attempts to answer.


European migration to Japan Highly skilled Western migrants White migration and privilege Migration, Cosmopolitanism and Integration Migration to Asia Social integration, cultural practices and Migration

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyDoshisha UniversityKyotoJapan

About the authors

Miloš Debnár is Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology, Doshisha University, in Kyoto, Japan. He lectures on sociology and migration-related issues. Besides his interest in migration and whiteness, he has also published articles on global cities and on the contemporary family. 

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Migration, Whiteness, and Cosmopolitanism
  • Book Subtitle Europeans in Japan
  • Authors Miloš Debnár
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, New York
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-137-56526-6
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-72004-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-137-56149-7
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XI, 235
  • Number of Illustrations 7 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Migration
    Asian Culture
    Human Geography
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“Debnár presents to us a fine and well-thought-out qualitative study on European immigrants in contemporary Japan, and successfully questions many superfluous images of white migration to Japan and other countries outside the West. … Debnár’s book is surely the best-available study on current Western migration to Japan. It raises many important issues in migration research about Japan and beyond.” (David Chiavacci, Asian Studies Review, Vol. 15 (1), 2018)

“Migration, Whiteness, and Cosmopolitanism: Europeans in Japan offers a fascinating insight into the migration experiences of a heterogenous group of Europeans in contemporary Japan. … Migration, Whiteness, and Cosmopolitanism: Europeans in Japan is an outstanding contribution to the diversifying picture of migration in Japan and the dynamics and possibilities of white migration in general.” (Helena Hof, Social Science Japan Journal, Vol. 20 (2), August, 2017)