Staff Profile: Yoko Kanemasu
Tel.: +679 323 2516
Office: CELT Room 211
BA in Foreign Language and Studies (Sophia University, Japan); MA in Sociology (USP); PhD in Sociology (University of New South Wales, Australia)
Gender, Sexuality, Women, Disability, Sport, Resistance, Identity, Representation, Migration, Pacific Islands
Yoko Kanemasu is an Associate Professor in Sociology. She is originally from Japan but has lived in Fiji for over 20 years. Yoko is a graduate of USP (MA in Sociology) and obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of New South Wales in Australia in 2005. She was previously a Research Associate at Cardiff University in Wales, UK, and Lecturer in Social Theory at the University of Worcester in England. But her true passion is working with Pacific island students.
Yoko is also a rugby fan/researcher and has organised a number of rugby-themed community outreach events at USP, the most recent being Rugby for Change: Celebrating Diversity with Serevi in 2018, an SOSS/FALE event which featured Waisale Serevi, Rocky Khan, Fijianas, athletic Indo-Fijian women and Fiji Deaf Rugby Team to promote gender equality, cultural diversity and disability inclusion in and through rugby.
- SO200: Modern Social Theory
- SO301: Sociology of Public Policy & Administration
- SO303: Advanced Social Theory
- AL400: Research Methodologies in the Humanities & Social Sciences
- SO408: Issues in Social and Public Policy
- GN400: Contemporary Feminism, Theory, Methods & Debates for Gender Research
- GN401: Gender, Global Change & Development in a Comparative Perspective
Yoko is interested in exploring how relations of domination, as well as resistance, are played out in different spheres of social life, such as sport, migration, identity construction and tourism. She focuses particularly on how gender, sexuality, ethnicity and disability, among other matrices of power, shape and are shaped by these social spheres. The largest part of her research to date has focused on women and sport, especially women’s rugby in Fiji (not least because she is a passionate supporter of the Fijiana, the women’s national team!). She has ongoing research/personal relationships with women’s rugby and Deaf rugby communities in Fiji and sportswomen in other parts of the Pacific. She also takes much personal and research interest in the advocacy work of non-heteronormative communities, such as fa’afafine and fa’afatama in Samoa.
Yoko is the author of an open-access monograph fully funded by Routledge, Pacific Island Women and Contested Sporting Spaces: Staking Their Claim (Kanemasu, 2023) and co-author of Routledge monograph Women’s Football in Oceania (McGowan, Symons and Kanemasu, 2023). She is the editor of Towards a Pacific Island Sociology of Sport: Current and Emerging Research, an anthology on Pacific Island sports (ranging from indigenous games, outrigger canoe racing and kirikiti to women’s football, rugby migration and sport for development) to be published by Emerald in 2024. Yoko is the recipient of 2022 Best Paper Award of the Journal of Sociology (for article titled: “’Let fa’afafine shine like diamonds’: balancing accommodation, negotiation and resistance in gender-nonconforming Samoans”), 2016 Vice Chancellor’s Prize for Research Impact, and 2014 Vice Chancellor’s Prize for the Best Research Output. She is a member of the editorial boards of the International Review for the Sociology of Sport and the Journal of Pacific Studies.
Supervision of MA and PhD Students
Completions since 2022
- Atele Dutt: PhD with Letter of Distinction (thesis title: “Corporal punishment in schools in Samoa: A Sociological explanation for its persistence”)
- Koini Vuli: MA (thesis title: “Pains and gains of women’s rugby: Fijian women’s experience of a male-dominated sport”)
- Sam Kaiapam: MA (thesis title: “Impacts of labour migration on migrants and their families: a case study of Vanuatu”)
- Zena Sherani: PhD (tentative thesis title: “Home, belongingness and construction of identities amongst Indo-Fijian youths in New Zealand”)
- Mashnil Shinoy: MA (tentative thesis title: “Primary prevention programs and policies on violence against women and girls: from the perspectives of young Indo-Fijian women living in informal settlements in Suva”)
- Rex Akomae: MA (tentative thesis title: “Negotiating custom and neoliberalism in land development in Solomon Islands: a Malaita case study”)
- Moana Bergmaier-Masau: MA (tentative thesis title: “Postcolonial Feminist approach in the Engineered Wood Products manufacture sector of the forestry industry in Fiji”
- Malia Vaurasi: MA (tentative thesis title: “Weaving Gender and Culture; An exploratory study of expressions of ‘strong femininity’ in Rotuman culture”)
- Iresh Lal: MA by SRP (tentative SRP title: “Evolution and Status of Services for Juveniles under Residential Care in Fiji”)
- Kanemasu, Y. (2020) Rugby, Nationalism and Deaf Athlete Counter-hegemony:
- Insights from a Case of Fiji. Sociology of Sport Journal. https://doi.org/10.1123/ssj.2019-0155
- Kanemasu, Y. and Liki, A. (2020) “Let Fa’afafine Shine Like Diamonds”: Balancing Accommodation, Negotiation and Resistance in Gender-Nonconforming Samoans. Journal of Sociology. https://doi.org/10.1177/1440783320964538
- Nakamura, N. and Kanemasu, Y. (2020) A Minority Group’s Response to a Severe Climatic Event: A Case Study of Rural Indo-Fijians after 2016 Tropical Cyclone Winston. Disasters. https://doi.org/10.1111/disa.12462
- Nakamura, N. and Kanemasu, Y. (2020) Traditional Knowledge, Social Capital, and Community Response to a Disaster: Resilience of Remote Communities in Fiji after a Severe Climatic Event. Regional Environmental Change 20 (23). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-020-01613-w
- Kanemasu, Y. and Molnar, G. (2020) “Representing” the Voices of Fijian Women Rugby Players: Working with Power Differentials in Transformative Research. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. 55(4): 399–415.
- Sugden, J., Kanemasu, Y. and Adair, D. (2020) Indo-Fijian Women and Sportive Activity: A Critical Race Feminism Approach. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. 55(6): 767-787.
- Kanemasu, Y. and Molnar, G. (2019) Against All Odds: Fijiana’s Flight from Zero to Hero in the Rugby World Cup. In: Harris, J. and Wise, N. Rugby in Global Perspective: Playing on the Periphery. London: Routledge, pp. 24-36.
- Kanemasu, Y. and Johnson, J. (2019) “Exploring the Complexities of Community Attitudes towards Women’s Rugby: Multiplicity, Continuity and Change in Fiji’s Hegemonic Rugby Discourse.” International Review for the Sociology of Sport. 54(1): 86–103.
- Kanemasu, Y. (2018). Going Online: Fears, Pains and Thrills of Online Course Transformation. In: Naidu, S. (ed) Flexible Learning Footprints. Suva: University of the South Pacific, pp.75-85.
- Kanemasu, Y. (2018). Going It Alone And Strong: Athletic Indo-Fijian Women and Everyday Resistance. In: G. Molnar, S. Amin & Y. Kanemasu (eds), Women, Sport and Exercise in the Asia-Pacific Region: Domination-Resistance-Accommodation. London: Routledge, pp. 92-110.
- Kanemasu, Y., Johnson, J. & Molnar, G. (2018), Fiji’s Women Rugby Players: Finding Motivation in a ‘Hostile’ Environment. In: G. Molnar, S. Amin & Y. Kanemasu (eds), Women, Sport and Exercise in the Asia-Pacific Region: Domination-Resistance-Accommodation. London: Routledge, pp. 141-158.
- Kanemasu, Y and Molnar, G. (2017) Private Military and Security Labour Migration: the case of Fiji. International Migration, 55(4): 154-170.
- Kanemasu, Y. and Molnar, G. (2017). Double-trouble: Negotiating Gender and Sexuality in Post-colonial Women’s Rugby in Fiji. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 52(4): 430–446.
- Horlings, I. and Kanemasu, Y. (2015) Sustainable Development and Policies in Rural Regions; Insights from the Shetland Islands Land Use Policy. Land Use Policy, 49: 310–321.
- Kanemasu, Y. (2015) Fiji Tourism Half a Century on: Tracing the Trajectory of Local Responses. In: Pratt, S. and Harrison, D. (eds.) Tourism in Pacific Islands: Current Issues and Future Challenges. New York: Routledge, pp. 63–84.
- Kanemasu, Y. and Molnar, G. (2014) Life after Rugby: Issues of Being an ‘Ex’ in Fiji Rugby. International Journal of the History of Sport, 31 (11): 1389–1405.
- Molnar, G. and Kanemasu, Y. (2014) Playing on the global periphery: Social scientific explorations of rugby in the Pacific Islands. Asia Pacific Journal of Sport and Social Science, 3 (3): 175–185.
- Molnar, G. & Kanemasu, Y. (eds.) (2014) Special Issue: Playing on the global periphery: Social scientific explorations of rugby in the Pacific Islands. Asia Pacific Journal of Sport and Social Science, 3(3): 175-276.
- Kanemasu, Y. (2013) Social Construction of Touristic Imagery: Case of Fiji. Annals of Tourism Research, 43: 456-481
- Kanemasu, Y. (2013) A National Pride or a Colonial Construct? Touristic Representation and the Politics of Fijian Identity Construction. Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture, 19 (1): 71–89.
- Kanemasu, Y. and Molnar, G. (2013) Problematizing the dominant: the emergence of alternative cultural voices in Fiji rugby. Asia Pacific Journal of Sport and Social Science 2 (1): 14–30.
- Kanemasu, Y. and Molnar, G. (2013) Collective Identity and Contested Allegiance: A Case of Migrant Professional Fijian Rugby Players. Sport In Society 16 (7): 863–882.
- Kanemasu, Y. and Molnar, G. (2013) Pride of the People: Fijian Rugby Labour Migration and Collective Identity. International Review for the Sociology of Sport 48(6): 720–735.
- Marsden, T., Horlings, I. and Kanemasu, Y. (2012) Overcoming Short-termism? Building Sustainable Eco-clusters in Rural Devon. In: S. Sjöblom, K. Andersson, T. Marsden, and S. Skerratt (eds) Sustainability and Short-term Policies: Improving Governance in Spatial Policy Interventions. Pp. 101–126. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.
- Kanemasu, Y. and Horlings, I. (2011) The Answer Is Blowing in the Wind? Development Strategies at Crossroads in Shetland. Working Paper. Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society, Cardiff University.
- Horlings, I. and Kanemasu, Y. (2011) Towards an Eco-Economy? Rural Development and Farm Tourism in Devon (UK). Working Paper. Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society, Cardiff University.
- Kanemasu, Y. and Sonnino, R. (2009) Dynamics of Power and Cooperation in Rural Development: the Case of Chianina Beef Production in Italy. International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food, 16 (2): 36-53.
- Kanemasu, Y. (2009) Book Review: Food Fears: From Industrial to Sustainable Food Systems by Alison Blay-Palmer. International Planning Studies, 14 (3): 329-340.
- Kanemasu, Y. (2008) The Impact of Policy Arrangements. Pp.211-224, in J. van der Ploeg and T. K. Marsden (eds) Unfolding Webs: The Dynamics of Regional Rural Development. Assen: Van Gorcum.
- Kanemasu, Y., Sonnino, R. Marsden, T. K. and Schneider, S. (2008) Testing the Web: A Comparative Analysis. Pp.175-208, in J. van der Ploeg and T. K. Marsden (eds) Unfolding Webs: The Dynamics of Regional Rural Development. Assen: Van Gorcum.
- Kanemasu, Y. (2008) Weapons of the Workers: Employees in the Fiji Hotel Scene. Pp.114-130 in J. Connell and B. Rugendyke (eds.) Tourism at the Grassroots. London: Routledge.
- Sonnino, R., Kanemasu, Y. and Marsden. (2008) Sustainable Rural Development. Pp.29-52 in J. van der Ploeg and T. K. Marsden (eds.) Unfolding Webs: The Dynamics of Regional Rural Development. Assen: Van Gorcum.
- Morgan, K., Bastia, T. and Kanemasu, Y. (2007) Home Grown: The New Era of School Feeding. Report submitted to the World Food Programme in October 2007.
- Kanemasu, Y., Rakuita, T. and Koster, V. (2005) Negotiating Cultural Identity in the Age of ICT: A Case Study of Fijian Immigrants in Brisbane, Australia. Monograph series no.6. ICT Capacity Building at USP Project. Suva, Fiji: University of the South Pacific.
Ongoing: Research and personal collaboration with the women’s rugby community in Fiji. I am a passionate supporter of women’s rugby in Fiji. Go Fijiana!!!
2011-2014: Member of the Management Collective, the executive decision-making body of the grassroots feminist NGO, Women’s Action for Change
I have also been involved in other advocacy work. I previously worked as an interpreter for South Africa’s African National Congress.
Any other information:
I have been teaching at USP since the 1990s when I was a Sociology tutor. Later I left USP and moved to the UK where I worked as a Research Associate at Cardiff University in Wales, and as a Lecturer in Social Theory at the University of Worcester in England. But I returned to USP in 2010 because I missed the Pacific very much. I consider the USP and the Pacific my home.