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.
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.
Wenn Beschleunigung das Problem ist, dann ist Resonanz vielleicht die Lösung. Dies ist, auf die kürzest mögliche Formel gebracht, die Kernthese des neuen Buches von Hartmut Rosa, das als Gründungsdokument einer Soziologie des guten Lebens gelesen werden kann. An seinem Anfang steht die Behauptung, dass sich die Qualität eines menschlichen Lebens nicht in der Währung von Ressourcen, Optionen und Glücksmomenten angeben lässt. Stattdessen müssen wir unseren Blick auf die Beziehung zur Welt richten, die dieses Leben prägt und die dann, wenn sie intakt ist, Ausdruck stabiler Resonanzverhältnisse ist. Um dies zu begründen, präsentiert Rosa zunächst das ganze Spektrum der Formen, in denen wir eine Beziehung zur Welt herstellen, vom Atmen bis hin zu kulturell ausdifferenzierten Weltbildern. Dann wendet er sich den konkreten Erfahrungs- und Handlungssphären zu – etwa Familie und Politik, Arbeit und Sport, Religion und Kunst –, in denen wir spätmodernen Subjekte Resonanz zwar suchen, aber immer seltener finden. Das hat maßgeblich mit der Steigerungslogik der Moderne zu tun, die sowohl Ursache als auch Folge einer gestörten Weltbeziehung ist, und zwar auf individueller wie kollektiver Ebene. Denn auch die großen Krisentendenzen der Gegenwartsgesellschaft – Ökokrise, Demokratiekriese, Psychokrise – lassen sich resonanztheoretisch analysieren, wie Rosa in seiner Soziologie der Weltbeziehung zeigt. Als eine umfassende Rekonstruktion der Moderne in Begriffen ihrer historisch realisierten Resonanzverhältnisse wagt sie den Versuch, den Rahmen für eine erneuerte Kritische Theorie abzustecken.
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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.