Apparently the "Online First
" version of the article went up on April 14, but they didn't notify me, so I only saw it by chance today. The title is "Books, Not Comics: Publishing Fields, Globalization, and Japanese Manga in the United States"
, and it is available from Springer's Publishing Research Quarterly
. Print version should be in the June 2009 issue.
Here is the abstract:
The market for Japanese comics, called manga, in the United States grew rapidly at the beginning of the twenty first century at a rate unprecedented in the publishing industry. Sales grew a remarkable 350% from $60 million in 2002 to $210 million in 2007 and did not begin to decline until the beginning of the recent economic downturn beginning in late 2008. No published research is yet able to account for this phenomenon in a manner that is both socially-situated and medium-specific. In this paper, I provide such a sociological account of the rise of manga in the United States and its implications for the globalization of culture. Adapting Pierre Bourdieu’s theoretical formulation of the cultural field, I argue that manga migrated from the comics field to the book field and that the ways in which industry practices, distribution networks, and target demographics differ between the two fields are directly responsible for the medium’s newfound visibility. Furthermore, I argue that, despite the now-common transparency of the Japanese origin of Japanese titles, the American publishing industry’s creation of manga as a category of books distinct from other comics is an ineluctable naturalizing process that ultimately erases from American consciousness the Japanese, the foreign, the other.
Full text is available here
. If you have institutional affiliation to a library that has bought access to Springer's humanities/social science/law journal collections, you should be able to download the article online for free. Springer is one of the big
corporate journal publishers, so most universities do indeed have a subscription.
This paper has already been through several incarnations. The work proper began as the culmination of an independent study written almost exactly a year ago and was later incorporated into my MA thesis submitted this past December. I revised it again for refereed journal submission a month ago, and it was accepted so quickly and enthusiastically the experience was positively vertiginous.
In any case, I'm thrilled to see it in print, as it were, and hope that others will be able to build upon it. Please spread the word! ^_^