Home and Family in Japan

Continuity and Transformation

Edited by Richard Ronald, Allison Alexy

© 2011 – Routledge

304 pages | 19 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415688048
pub: 2011-10-11
US Dollars$54.95
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Hardback: 9780415488679
pub: 2010-11-14
US Dollars$160.00
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e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

In the Japanese language the word ‘ie’ denotes both the materiality of homes and family relations within. The traditional family and family house - often portrayed in ideal terms as key foundations of Japanese culture and society - have been subject to significant changes in recent years. This book comprehensively addresses various aspects of family life and dwelling spaces, exploring how homes, household patterns and kin relations are reacting to contemporary social, economic and urban transformations, and the degree to which traditional patterns of both houses and households are changing.

The book contextualises the shift from the hegemonic post-war image of standard family life, to the nuclear family and to a situation now where Japanese homes are more likely to include unmarried singles; childless couples; divorcees; unmarried adult children and elderly relatives either living alone or in nursing homes. It discusses how these new patterns are both reinforcing and challenging typical understandings of Japanese family life.

Reviews

"Home and Family in Japan makes a welcome contribution to our understanding of these trends in combining macro-level analysis with ethnographic case studies, and in examining not only shifts in personal attitudes and lifestyles but also the broader policy frameworks, and the physical spaces within which families’ lives in contemporary Japan take shape… the volume makes an important contribution to the literature on family change in Japan, as it goes beyond covering the more common themes—the attitudes of single women toward marriage and family—and addresses equally significant groups, including salarymen and elderly people, as well as the growing number of single, unmarried and divorced men and women whose experiences are of increasing importance for our understanding of family dynamics in contemporary Japan." - Aya Ezawa, Leiden University; Pacific Affairs Volume 86, No. 2 – June 2013

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Continuity and Change in Japanese Homes and Families 2. Reassembling Familial Intimacy: Civil, Fringe, and Popular Youth Visions of the Japanese Home and Family 3. Reforming Families in Japan: Family Policy in the Era of Structural Reform 4. The Ideal, the Deficient, and the Illogical Family: An Initial Typology of Administrative Household Units 5. ‘I did not know how to tell my parents, so I thought I would have to have an abortion’: Experiences of Unmarried Mothers in Japan 6. Masculinity and the Family System: The Ideology of the ‘Salaryman’ across Three Generations 7. Working and Waiting for an ‘Appropriate Person’: How Single Women Support and Resist Family in Japan 8. Home ownership, Family Change and Generational Differences 9. Homes and Houses, Senses and Spaces 10. The Changing Face of Homelessness in Tokyo in the Modern Era 11. Coping with Hikikomori: Socially Withdrawn Youth and the Japanese Family 12. The Door My Wife Closed: Houses, Families, and Divorce in Contemporary Japan 13. Living Apart Together: Anticipated Home, Family and Social Networks in Old Age

 

About the Editors

Richard Ronald is a Lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He is the co-editor of Housing and Social Transition in Japan, also published by Routledge.

Allison Alexy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Lafayette College, USA.

About the Series

Japan Anthropology Workshop Series

Editorial Board:
Pamela Asquith, University of Alberta
Eyal Ben Ari, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hirochika Nakamaki, National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka

Kirsten Refsing, University of Copenhagen
Wendy Smith, Monash University

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:
SOC000000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / General
SOC002010
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOC008000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General