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
This book presents a wide-ranging study of widows in Japan, filtered through the dramatic and complex intersection of women with death. These experiences are portrayed as intensely personal and yet foreshadow momentous societal ramifications. The work represents years of research, numerous personal interviews conducted throughout Japan, and reflects not only historical and current perspectives, but also the diverse voices of the widows who participated in the research. These widows provide a point of focus for a multi-level analysis through the exploration of the inner-workings of the state, the family, and the social relations of gender. The lives of widows are examined as they are shaped by kinship and gender ideologies, class, transformations in language, and, most dramatically, war.
This award-winning book brings together Chizuko Ueno's groundbreaking essays on the rise and fall of the modern family in Japan. Combining historical, sociological, anthropological, and journalistic methodologies, Ueno â?? who is arguably the foremost feminist theoretician in Japan â?? delineates in vivid detail how the family has been changing in form and function in the last hundred years. In each chapter, Ueno introduces the reader to a different facet of modern Japanese family life, ranging from children who fantasize about being orphans to the elderly who confront 'pre-senescence.' The central focus is on the housewife â?? her history, her ever-changing responsibilities, her ways of surviving mid-life crisis. This is an indispensable book for students and scholars seeking to understand modern Japan.
In this English translation of a semi-classic study, readers have the opportunity to explore the manner in which both credentialism and the various levels of the modern education system have developed in Japan. Professor Ikuo Amano, the author of extensive works on Japanese education and examination systems, takes the reader through a detailed analysis of the process by which education and academic qualifications have become the crucial factors in determining social position. Using Japan as a concrete example of an industrial society thoroughly permeated by credentialism, Amano's book makes explicit the relationship between social selection and education, and, in so doing, points the way to why credentialism has come to dominate industrial societies. The book also includes a comparative consideration of the development of education, qualification, and selection mechanisms in both Japan and Europe. (Series: Japanese Society)
Prologue: in search of the seikatsusha -- 1. Under a fascist regime -- 2. Towards a post-war departure -- 3. Negotiating consumer society -- 4. From 'theory' to the 'activism' stage -- 5. In lieu of an epilogue: an overview of the seikatsusha discourse and its prospects -- Afterword.
Much of the existing literature on happiness in Japan has been produced in the field of economics and psychology and is quantitative in nature. Here, for the first time, a group of anthropologists and sociologists jointly analyze the state of happiness and unhappiness in Japan among varying social groups in its physical, interpersonal, existential and structural dimensions, offering new insights into fundamental issues. This book investigates the connections between sociostructural aspects, individual agency and happiness in contemporary Japan from a life course perspective. The contributors examine quantitative and qualitative empirical data on the processes that impact how happiness and well-being are envisioned, crafted, and debated in Japan across the life-cycle. Therefore, the book discusses the shifting notions of happiness during people’s lives from birth to death, analyzing the age group-specific experiences while taking into consideration people’s life trajectories and historical changes. It points out recent developments in regards to demographic change, late marriage, and the changing labor market and focuses on their significant impact on the well-being of Japanese people. In particular it highlights the interdependencies of lives within the family and how families are collaborating for the purpose of maintaining or enhancing the happiness of its members. Broadening our understanding of the multidimensionality of happiness in Japan, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of Japanese Studies, Anthropology, and Sociology.
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.
Explores the social, cultural, and political explanations for Japan's environmental problems through a local and national study.
In this study, a group of young Japanese sociologists scrutinizes the sociological foundations of the ways in which the Japanese people produce and consume cultural commodities and live their everyday lives surrounded by these products.
Offers a sociological perspective of gender that can be applied to our lives. Focusing on the most recent research and theory–both in the U.S. and globally–Gender Roles, 6e provides an in-depth, survey and analysis of modern gender roles and issues from a sociological perspective. The text integrates insights and research from other disciplines such as biology, psychology, anthropology, and history to help build more robust theories of gender roles.
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.
This timely Handbook is based on the principle that disasters are social constructions and focuses on social science disaster research. It provides an interdisciplinary approach to disasters with theoretical, methodological, and practical applications. Attention is given to conceptual issues dealing with the concept "disaster" and to methodological issues relating to research on disasters. These include Geographic Information Systems as a useful research tool and its implications for future research. This seminal work is the first interdisciplinary collection of disaster research as it stands now while outlining how the field will continue to grow.
As is the case in Western industrialized countries, Japan is seeing a rise in the number of unmarried couples, later marriages, and divorces. What sets Japan apart, however, is that the percentage of children born out of wedlock has hardly changed in the past fifty years. This book provides the first systematic study of single motherhood in contemporary Japan. Seeking to answer why illegitimate births in Japan remain such a rarity, Hertog spent over three years interviewing single mothers, academics, social workers, activists, and policymakers about the beliefs, values, and choices that unmarried Japanese mothers have. Pairing her findings with extensive research, she considers the economic and legal disadvantages these women face, as well as the cultural context that underscores family change and social inequality in Japan. This is the only scholarly account that offers sufficient detail to allow for extensive comparisons with unmarried mothers in the West.
The population of the United States is growing inexorably older. With birth rates historically low and life expectancy continuing to rise, the age distribution of the population in the United States is growing steadily older. This demographic shift is occurring at a time of major economic and social changes, which have important implications for the growing elderly population. Other changes, such as the move away from defined-benefit toward defined-contribution retirement plans, changes in some corporate and municipal pension plans as a result of market pressures, and the 2008 financial crisis precipitated by the crash of the housing market, all have economic implications for older people. They are also likely to make it more difficult for certain groups of future retirees to find their retirements at the level that they had planned and would like. To deal effectively with the challenges created by population aging, it is vital to first understand these demographic, economic, and social changes and, to the extent possible, their causes, consequences, and implications. Sociology offers a knowledge base, a number of useful analytic approaches and tools, and unique theoretical perspectives that can be important aids to this task. The Panel on New Directions in Social Demography, Social Epidemiology, and the Sociology of Aging was established in August 2010 under the auspices of the Committee on Population of the National Research Council to prepare a report that evaluates the recent contributions of social demography, social epidemiology, and sociology to the study of aging and seeks to identify promising new research in these fields. Perspectives on the Future of the Sociology of Aging provides candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the final published volume as sound as possible and to ensure that the volume meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge.

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