Japan's Changing Generations: Are Young People Creating a New Society?, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Japan's Changing Generations

Are Young People Creating a New Society?, 1st Edition

Edited by Gordon Mathews, Bruce White


224 pages

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Japan's Changing Generations argues that 'the generation gap' in Japan is something more than young people resisting the adult social order before entering and conforming to that order. Rather, it signifies something more fundamental: the emergence of a new Japan, which may be quite different from the Japan of postwar decades.

It argues that while young people in Japan in their teens, twenties and early thirties are not engaged in overt social or political resistance, they are turning against the existing Japanese social order, whose legitimacy has been undermined by the past decade of economic downturn. The book shows how young people in Japan are thinking about their bodies and identities, their social relationships, and their employment and parenting, in new and generationally contextual ways, that may help to create a future Japan quite different from Japan of the recent past.

Table of Contents

Part 1: The Japanese Generational Divide 1. The Generation Gap in Japanese Society since the 1960s2. Why are Japanese Youth Today so Passive?3. The Local Roots of Global Citizenship: Generational Change in a Kyushu Hamlet Part 2: How Teenagers Cope With the Adult World 4. How Japanese Teenagers Cope: Social Pressures and Personal Responses 5. Youth Fashion and Changing Beautification Practices 6. 'Guiding' Japan's University Students through the Generation Gap Part 3: How Young Adults Challenge the Social Order 7. Seeking a Career, Finding a Job: How Young People Enter and Resist the Japanese World of Work 8. Mothers and Their Unmarried Daughters: An Intimate Look at Generational Change9. What Happens When They Come Back: How Japanese Young People with Foreign University Degrees Experience the Japanese Workplace 10. Centered Selves and Life Choices: Changing Attitudes of Young Educated Mothers Epilogue: Are Japanese Young People Creating a New Society?

About the Editors

Gordon Mathews is Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has written What Makes Life Worth Living? How Japanese and Americans Make Sense of Their Worlds (1996), and Global Culture/Individual Identity: Searching for Home in the Cultural Supermarket (2000) and edited Consuming Hong Kong (2001).

Bruce White is Lecturer in Anthropology and Sociology at Doshisha University,

Kyoto, Japan.

About the Series

Japan Anthropology Workshop Series

Editorial Board:
Pamela Asquith, University of Alberta
Eyal Ben Ari, Kinneret Academic College, Sea of Galilee, Israel

Hirochika Nakamaki, Suita City Museum, Japan
Christoph Brumann, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany

Henry Johnson, University of Otago, New Zealand

Founder Member of the Editorial Board:
Jan van Bremen, University of Leiden

Routledge is very proud to be publishing this important series, which has already signed up a good list of high quality books on interesting topics, and has a truly international range of authors and editors.

A key aim of the series is to present studies that offer a deep understanding of aspects of Japanese society and culture to offset the impression of constant change and frivolity that so tempts the mass media around the world.  Living in Japan brings anyone into contact with the fervent mood of change, and former residents from many other countries enjoy reading about their temporary home, but there is a demand also to penetrate less obvious elements of this temporary life.  Anthropologists specialise in digging beneath the surface, in peeling off and examining layers of cultural wrapping, and in gaining an understanding of language and communication that goes beyond formal presentation and informal frolicking.  This series will help to open the eyes of readers around the world from many backgrounds to the work of these diligent anthropologists researching the social life of Japan.

Submissions from prospective authors are welcomed, and enquiries should be sent in the first instance to the series editor Professor Joy Hendry (jhendry@brookes.ac.uk).

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General