Written by the sociologists at Kwansei Gakuin University who are engaged in 'Social Research for the Enhancement of Human Well-being', this study explores issues of happiness from a wide variety of sociological perspectives. It includes: a meta-analysis of suffering; an axiomatic approach to constructing an index for measuring social suffering from an utilitarian perspective; a proposal for a new qualitative methodology for social science research; a Nietzschean analysis of happiness; a proposal to codify linguistic rights drawing on notions of the universal right to pursue well-being; an analysis of the role of folklore in articulating a society's implicit understandings of happiness and suffering; a critical exploration of the impact of social surveillance on happiness; and a clinical sociological approach to happiness and unhappiness.
Escape from Work is about an important evolution which has been occurring in the Japanese labor market over the past decade. As Japanese came to enjoy higher levels of affluence in the late 1980s and early 1990s, attitudes towards work and life course began to change. At the same time, globalization and heightened competition have accelerated the casualization of work in Japan. The furiitaa, young people who are free-lance, long-term 'casuals, ' are less committed to their employers and employment than is the norm in Japan. Based on rich interview data and extensive surveys, author Reiko Kosugi documents the increase in the number of casual workers in Japan over the past two decades and looks at their demographics. This study explores ways in which young persons falling outside the normal pattern of transition from school to employment might better be incorporated into Japan's world of regular, full-time employment. At the same time, Kosugi calls for a reappraisal of the rather negative
Is Japanese whaling based on national culture and tradition? Sociologist Hiroyuki Watanabe challenges this question by examining the history of whaling in modern Japan and looking at the wide range of arguments within the country over the decades. The book provides a detailed account of anti-whaling disturbances organized by fishermen in the early 20th century, presents successful attempts to designate whales as protected species in pre-war years, and shows regional differences in whale-meat eating practices. Through a sober and critical analysis of the 'cultural' defense of Japan's whaling industry, the book reveals that whaling has often been linked with Japanese expansionist policies overseas. Watanabe also explores the relations between human beings and whales and offers practical proposals.
Based on Ryoji Ihara's experience as a casual worker in a Toyota factory, Japan, the author provides both a fearless exposé and a meticulous academic study firmly situated within the context of the sociology of labor.
This book examines what citizens think about governance and democracy and the actual practices of governments in Asia, one of the most dynamic and divergent regions of the world. Using public opinion surveys and other evidence, the authors investigate such topics as government perception, human rights, democracy, and political development for a total of seven countries located in East, Southeast, and South Asia-China, India, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. Governance and Democracy in Asia contains detailed country studies, extensive cross-country comparisons, and a wealth of new data. It will appeal to scholars and students of Asian politics, public opinion, political development, and democratization.
Condemned by economic forces and the prejudices of others to remain forever in the underclass, the homeless and day laborens in present-day affluent Japan struggle to survive in its cities. Japan's Underclass provides a poignant portrait of the conditions endured by these people. Whether they can find work at all, and the nature of any available work, determines their fate. The book examines men who die on the streets, the efforts of volunteers, officialdom's lack of understanding, and of passers-by pointing at these individuals to show their children where failure will lead. Japan's Underclass shows how it is not personal failure, but a variety of economic and life circumstances that has propelled these people into the underclass.
Contemporary Japan is in a state of transition, caused by the forces of globalization that are derailing its ailing economy, stalemating the political establishment and generating alternative lifestyles and possibilities of the self. Amongst this nascent change, Japanese society is confronted with new challenges to answer the fundamental question of how to live a good life of meaning, purpose and value. This book, based on extensive fieldwork and original research, considers how specific groups of Japanese people view and strive for the pursuit of happiness. It examines the importance of relationships, family, identity, community and self-fulfilment, amongst other factors. The book demonstrates how the act of balancing social norms and agency is at the root of the growing diversity of experiencing happiness in Japan today.
CSA Sociological Abstracts abstracts and indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. The database provides abstracts of journal articles and citations to book reviews drawn from over 1,800+ serials publications, and also provides abstracts of books, book chapters, dissertations, and conference papers.
As national leaders struggle to revive their economies, the people of Europe face a stark reality, which has created an opportunity for local leaders and citizen movers and shakers to rise to the occasion to spur revitalization from the bottom up. The author offers a six-point plan to prosperity.
The field of social psychology was one of the largest broad disciplinary areas represented at the Congress, and the papers selected for this volume give a fresh and exciting overview of the current state of the discipline. The volume aims to present a well-integrated and balanced survey of contemporary social psychology that may be read as a book in its own right or used as an up-to-date work of reference. This volume surveys the most recent developments in social psychology with over fifty papers by outstanding researchers from all over the world. The major research areas covered include attitudes, values and beliefs, attribution research, social cognition, emotion and affect, social perception, judgment and decisions, interpersonal behaviour and communication, groups, leadership, social influence processes, the self, personality and social adaptation, socialisation and cross-cultural psychology. The volume contains both empirical and theoretical papers and is aimed at students and researchers in social psychology and in neighbouring disciplines, such as cross-cultural, cognitive, developmental, personality and clinical psychology, social work and sociology.
The briefs presents a model for happiness based on current knowledge in evolutionary biology and neurobiology. Briefly, the primary purpose of nervous systems is to direct an animal toward behaviour relevant for survival and procreation. In primitive animals actions are based on reflexes, while in humans the modules directing behaviour engage positive and negative affect (good and bad feelings), and they are swayed by cognitive processes. The reason why evolution opted for this strategy was the improved flexibility in response – i.e., we learn from previous experiences. The human capacity for happiness is an accidental consequence. An array of brain modules has evolved to care for various pursuits, but recent studies suggest that they converge on shared neural circuits designed to generate positive and negative mood. Happiness can be construed as the net output of the relevant modules. The briefs suggests a strategy for how to avoid having negative feelings (such as anxiety, depression and chronic pain) dominate the mind, and how to exercise positive feelings. In short, the book offers both a deeper understanding of what happiness is about, and a framework for improving well-being. An array of brain modules has evolved to care for various pursuits, but recent studies suggest that they converge on shared neural circuits designed to generate positive and negative mood. Happiness can be construed as the net output of the relevant modules. The book suggests a strategy for how to avoid having negative feelings (such as anxiety, depression and chronic pain) dominate the mind, and how to exercise positive feelings. In short, the book offers both a deeper understanding of what happiness is about, and a framework for improving well-being.
The last twenty years has seen a growth of interest and fascination with the Japanese, and the emergence of Japan as a world economic power has stimulated many works that have attempted to understand Japanese culture. The focus of this book is not on Japanese culture or society per se: rather, it is on how Japanese culture and society structure, shape, and mold the emotions of the Japanese people. All cultures shape and mold emotions, but the degree to which the Japanese culture shapes emotion has led to several misunderstandings about the emotional life of the Japanese, which this book attempts to correct. Describing the findings of over two decades of research, this book presents the Japanese as human beings with real feelings and emotions rather than as mindless pawns caught in the web of their own culture. In the process, it unmasks many myths that have grown around the subject and reveals important similarities as well as differences between the emotional life of the Japanese and that of people of other cultures.
Naikan is a Japanese psychotherapeutic method which combines meditation-like body engagement with the recovery of memory and the reconstruction of one's autobiography in order to bring about healing and a changed notion of the self. Based on original anthropological fieldwork, this fascinating book provides a detailed ethnography of Naikan in practice. In addition, it discusses key issues such as the role of memory, autobiography and narrative in health care, and the interesting borderland between religion and therapy, where Naikan occupies an ambiguous position. Multidisciplinary in its approach, it will attract a wide readership, including students of social and cultural anthropology, medical sociology, religious studies, Japanese studies and psychotherapy.
In Everyday Conceptions of Emotion, prominent anthropologists, linguists and psychologists come together for the first time to discuss how emotions are conceptualised by people of different cultures and ages, speaking different languages. Anger, fear, jealousy and emotion itself are concepts that are bound up with the English language, embedded in a way of thinking, acting and speaking. At the same time, the metaphors underlying such concepts are often similar across languages, and children of different cultures follow common developmental pathways. The book thus discusses the interplay of social and cultural factors that humans share in their development of an understanding of the affective side of their lives. For researchers interested in emotion, development of concepts and language, cultural and linguistic influences on psychological processes.
This volume presents a conceptual, historical, anthropological, and sociological review of how culture affects our experience and expression of romantic love. What is romantic love and how is it different from and similar to other kinds of love? How is romantic love related to sex and marriage in human history and across contemporary cultures? What cultural factors mediate attraction in love? These are some of the questions the volume explores through its interdisciplinary yet focused lens. Much of the current research evidence suggests that love is a universal emotion experienced by a majority of people, in various historical eras, and in all the world’s cultures. Yet, love displays in different ways because culture has an impact on people’s conceptions of love and the ways they feel, think, and behave in romantic relationships. This volume summarizes classical knowledge on love and culture while at the same time focusing sharply on recent studies and cutting-edge research that has advanced the field. Divided into three parts, the volume begins by defining and analyzing the concept of romantic love and interdisciplinary approach to its study in cultural context. Part II traces the origin and evolution of romantic love both in various places throughout the world and various time periods throughout history. Part III presents the revolutionary expansion of romantic love ideas and practices in the late 20th and early 21st centuries in various parts of the world, focusing particularly on the development of romantic love as a cultural ideal of the modern cultures. Finally, the book concludes by summarizing the major achievements in this field of study and predicts future development. A timely and thoughtful addition to the literature, Romantic Love in Cultural Contexts delivers thought-provoking insights to researchers in relationship scholarship, sociology, anthropology, and cultural studies, and all those interested in the universal human concept of love. Overall I find Dr. Victor Karandashev is an excellent and fine scholar who has a firm grasp of both the fundamental principles of cross-cultural research and of anthropology. In our increasingly connected world Romantic Love in Cultural Contexts updates and adds to the descriptions and explanations of similarities and differences in romantic love across generations and cultures. Romantic love encompasses the life span, rather than being a phenomenon largely confined to youthful years. The topic of this project concerns the deepest of our sentiments and pervades life from birth to death. This book contributes to better knowledge of this phenomenon across generations. Félix Neto (Professor of Psychology) Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação Universidade do Porto, Portugal

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