1st Edition

Routledge Companion to Contemporary Japanese Social Theory From Individualization to Globalization in Japan Today

Edited By Anthony Elliott, Masataka Katagiri, Atsushi Sawai Copyright 2013
    280 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    280 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Companion to Contemporary Japanese Social Theory breaks new ground in providing a detailed, systematic appraisal of the major traditions of social theory prominent in Japan today – from theories of identity and individualization to globalization studies. The volume introduces readers to the rich diversity of social-theoretical critique in contemporary Japanese social theory.

    The editors have brought together some of the most influential Japanese social scientists to assess current trends in Japanese social theory, including Kazuhisa Nishihara, Aiko Kashimura, Masahiro Ogino, Yumiko Ehara and Kiyomitsu Yui. The volume also contains dialogues with these Japanese contributors from authoritative Western social theorists – including, among others, Axel Honneth, Roland Robertson, Bryan S. Turner, Charles Lemert and Anthony Elliott – to reflect on such developments. The result is an exciting, powerful set of intellectual exchanges. The book introduces, contextualizes and critiques social theories in the broader context of Japanese society, culture and politics – with particular emphasis upon Japanese engagements and revisions of major traditions of social thought. Divided into two sections, the book surveys traditions of social thought in Japanese social science and presents the major social issues facing contemporary Japan.

    The book will appeal to students and scholars of sociology, social theory, critical theory, psychoanalysis, risk, gender studies, feminist studies, self and identity studies, media studies and cultural studies.

    Contributors.  Acknowledgements.  Editor’s Introduction.  Part 1: Traditions of Social Thought  1. Phenomenological Sociology in Japan and its Significance for Contemporary Social Research by Kazuhisa Nishihara. Prelude by Nick Crossley  2. Critical Theory and its Development in Post-War Japanese Sociology: Pursuing True Democracy in Rapid Capitalist Modernization by Takeshi Deguchi. Prelude by Axel Honneth  3. Japanese Psychoanalysis as Deciphering the Japanese Unconsciousness and Supporting the Japanese Subject by Aiko Kashimura. Prelude by Anthony Elliott  4. Structuralism, Post-Structuralism and Thereafter by Masahiro Ogino. Prelude by Daniel Chaffee  5. Acceptance of Beck’s Theory in Japan: From Environmental Risks to Individualization by Midori Ito and Munenori Suzuki. Prelude by Roland Robertson  Part 2: Issues in Japanese Social Theory  6. The Three Selves in Japanese Society: Individualized, Privatized, and Psychologized Selves by Masataka Katagiri. Prelude by Anthony Elliott  7. Japanese Feminist Social Theory and Gender Equality by Yumiko Ehara. Prelude by Chilla Bulbeck and Laura Dales  8. Network, Community and Culture by Tomohiko Asano. Prelude by Sam Han  9. Postmodernity by Atsushi Sawai. Prelude by Eric Hsu  10. Globalization by Kiyomitsu Yui. Prelude by Bryan S. Turner  Afterword: Apollo’s Chariot by Charles Lemert


    Anthony Elliott is Chair of Sociology at Flinders University, Australia and Visiting Research Professor at the Open University, UK. His recent books include Mobile Lives (Routledge, 2010, with John Urry) and On Society (Polity Press, 2012, with Bryan S. Turner).

    Masataka Katagiri is a Professor at Chiba University, Chiba. His recent books include Jiko no Hakken: Shakaigaku-shi no Furontia ([Discovery of the Self: Frontier of the History of Sociology], Seakai-shiso-sha, 2011) and Ninchi Shakaigaku no Koso: Kategori, Jiko, Shakai ([The Basic Idea of Cognitive Sociology: Category, Self and Society], Sekai-shiso-sha, 2006).

    Atsushi Sawai is Professor of Sociology at Keio University, Tokyo. His recent books include Karl Manheim: Jidai o Shindansuru Bomeisha ([Karl Mannheim: An Exile Diagnosing an Epoch], Toshin-do, 2004) and Shi to Shibetsu no Shakaigaku ([The Sociology of Death and Bereavement: A Social Theory Approach], Seikyu-sha, 2005).