James Farrer

Sophia University, Tokyo; Carnegie Council Pacific Fellow; Robert J. Myers Fellow, 2018 and 2019

James Farrer is professor of sociology and global studies at Sophia University in Tokyo, specializing in urban sociology in East Asia, with publications on sexuality, nightlife, expatriate communities, political protest, and food cultures. His ongoing projects focus on urban foodscapes and the place making activities of international migrants in Shanghai. He also has a new project studying community life in his own Tokyo neighborhood in which he documents the place making activities of small business people and neighborhood social entrepreneurs. The ongoing activities of this project are published in a bilingual Japanese-English blog called Nishiogiology that aims to be accessible both to scholars and community members.

His publications include Opening Up: Youth Sex Culture and Market Reform in Shanghai; Shanghai Nightscapes: A Nocturnal Biography of a Global City (with Andrew Field); and Globalization and Asian Cuisines: Transnational Networks and Contact Zones. He has also published over 50 scholarly book chapter and articles and written for general media, including Newsweek Japan, Lonely Planet Guides, Asian Wall Street Journal, YaleGlobal Online, and Global Asia. He has lived in Asia more than two decades, spending part of every year in Shanghai while based most of the year in Tokyo.

Featured Work

JUL 2, 2007 Article

Policy Innovations Digital Magazine (2006-2016): Commentary: Chinese Sexual Culture

Devin Stewart interviews sociologist James Farrer about a recent conference in Beijing on sexuality and implications for human rights and civil society in China.