Imagined Families, Lived Families: Culture and Kinship in Contemporary Japan

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Akiko Hashimoto, John W. Traphagan
State University of New York Press, Jan 15, 2009 - Social Science - 188 pages
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An interdisciplinary look at the dramatic changes in the contemporary Japanese family, including both empirical data and analyses of popular culture.
The Japanese family is at a crossroads of demographic change and altered cultural values. While the population of children has been shrinking and that of elders rising, attitudes about rights and responsibilities within the family have changed significantly. The realities of life in postmodern society have shaped both the imagined family of popular culture and the lived experience of Japanese family members. Imagined Families, Lived Families takes an interdisciplinary approach toward these dramatic changes by looking at the Japanese family from a variety of perspectives, including media studies, anthropology, sociology, literature, and popular culture. The contributors look at representations of family in manga and anime, outsider families and families that must contend with state prosecution of political activists, the stereotype of the absolute Japanese father, and old age and end-of-life decisions in a rapidly aging society with changing family configurations.

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1 Changing Japanese Families
Imagined Families
Japanese Families in Newspaper Comics
Depictions of the Family in Japanese Animation
Two Japanese Women Directors Study an AgeOld Problem
Lived Families
Three Crises for Japanese New Left Activists Families
6 Is Japan Still A Big Family? Nationality and Citizenship at the Edge of the Japanese Archipelago
Changing Elder Care at theTurn of the 21st Century
Name Index
Subject Index

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About the author (2009)

Akiko Hashimoto is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh and the author of The Gift of Generations: Japanese and American Perspectives on Aging and the Social Contract.

John W. Traphagan is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin and the coeditor (with John Knight) of Demographic Change and the Family in Japan s Aging Society, also published by SUNY Press.

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