Japan's Changing Generations: Are Young People Creating a New Society?

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Gordon Mathews, Bruce White
Routledge, Oct 2, 2012 - Political Science - 224 pages
This book 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.

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Changing generations in Japan today
Part I The Japanese generational divide
Part II How teenagers cope with the adult world
Part III How young adults challenge the social order
Are Japanese young people creating a new society?

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About the author (2012)

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 Research Associate, Department of Anthropology and Europe-Japan Research Centre, Oxford Brookes University; he is the author of the Ph.D thesis 'Modernity's Children: Generational Change, Identity, and Global Citizenship in Japan'.

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