Economic Geographies of Internationalization
This research program deals with economic geographies of internationalization with a special focus on the Pacific Basin and East Asia. This research seeks to understand how specific economic and cultural transformations are wrought by the interaction of complex global flows of money, power and cultural meaning with local practices, customs and economies.
In my Eikaiwa Wonderland project I am investigating the geographies of English language learning in Japan's English conversation schools (eikaiwa). This project began in 1997 with dissertation fieldwork in the eikaiwa. It seeks to describe and account for the highly gendered participation and specific nature of practices within these schools by integrating an analysis of economic geographies of internationalization that create demand for English langauge skills with an analysis of the social, cultural and discursive institutions that support the Mode of Social Regulation in Japan.
The Urban Resort project examines how Honolulu has been produced as a space of consumption and accumulation since 1959 by multinational investment and development of tourist facilities around the core of Waikiki. This project uses a Growth Coalition analysis that identifies and segments specific growth factions and actors and integrates this with Lefebvre's conception of the production of space to explain how a growth coalition nucleated around the concept of the Urban Resort and how, over time, this Urban Resort, with Waikiki as its prototype, situated itself in a transnational space-economy of tourist development increasingly funded by Japanese capital.
I am now working on a critical cultural geography of Guam's Talofofo Falls, examining how the Falls are produced as a space of complex, contested meanings by their physical and sociospatial location at a nexus of Pacific geopolitical power zones and how these have influenced the production of contested collective memories. This space of meaning sits uneasily at the intersection of several historical geographies of nationalism.
Another ongoing project is "Mileage Runners, Weedeaters and the 'R' Bucket: an actor-network geography of elite frequent fliers." This project investigates the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of elite frequent fliers. Using an actor-network framework this research seeks to understand how the remarkable geographies of these fliers are produced by their embedding in particular physical aviation networks and their use of the Internet to facilitate activities such as mileage runs and segment runs. It also considers how their activities within this network shape components of their socio-techical-spatial system, such as the frequent flier programs, and how their practices produce unanticipated geographies of tourism in locations all over the world including Singapore, Paris and Iceland.
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Copyright © 2004 Keiron Bailey