Yoshie Yanagihara is a Professor at Tokyo Denki University, School of Science & Engineering. She was a visiting fellow at Yale Macmillan Center in the academic year 2011-2012 granted by scholarship through The University of Tokyo “Todai-Yale Initiative”. During her time at Yale Macmillan Center, she began to study cultural sociology and the civil sphere theory.
She is engaged in bioethical issues focusing on cultural structures which intercedes applying reproductive technologies and recognition of women’s bodies. Her latest research project examines discourses concerning surrogacy in mass media using a theoretical framework of Biopolitics and Civil Sphere Theory.
In 2017, she was a participant in The Civil Sphere in East Asia Project, organized by Jeffry Alexander and David A. Palmer. For this project she contributed a paper “What Constitutes ‘Autonomy’ in the Japanese Civil Sphere? : The Struggle over Surrogacy” (2019, Cambridge University Press).
Her major paper in the academic arena of bioethics is titled “Reconstructing feminist perspectives of women’s bodies using a globalized view: The changing surrogacy market in Japan” published in Bioethics (2020). Her latest article “The practice of surrogacy as a phenomenon of ‘bare life’: An analysis of the Japanese case applying Agamben’s theory “, Current Sociology (2021) earned her recognition by the International Sociological Association, and she was awarded “Sociologist of the Month” by them in September 2021.
She is currently preparing for a book publication which will be a compilation of her articles written over past ten years. It is tentatively titled “Biopolitics of Surrogacy: examination of knowledge and power analyzing in cultural sociology” (In Japanese). (Visiting Fellow - April, 2023 to April, 2024)