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Family and Social Policy in Japan

Family and Social Policy in Japan
Anthropological Approaches


Part of Contemporary Japanese Society

Roger Goodman, Victoria Lynn Bestor, Glenda Roberts, Setsuko Lee, Carolyn Stevens, Eyal Ben-Ari, Leng Leng Thang, Yohko Tsuji, Vera Mackie
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  • Date Published: December 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521016353

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About the Authors
  • Social policies reflect and construct important ideas in societies about the relationship between the state and the individual. This 2002 book examines this relationship in a number of hitherto unexplored areas in Japanese society including policies relating to fertility, peri-natal care, child care, child abuse, sexuality, care for the aged and death. The conclusion is that a great change has taken place in all these areas through the 1990s as a consequence of Japan's changing economy, demography and the development of civil society. The case studies, based on intensive anthropological fieldwork, not only demonstrate how and why family and social policies have evolved in the world's second largest economy, but in the process provide a challenge to many of the assumptions of western policymakers. The empirical material contained in this volume will be of interest to anthropologists and to students and practitioners.

    • In-depth anthropological study of the formation of social policy in a non-western society
    • Intriguing insights into different aspects of everyday life in Japan
    • International team of contributors, all well-known in their particular areas
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'It is a timely addition to a thoughtful series which counts among its authors leading academics and authorities on key aspects of contemporary Japanese society and culture … This book, with its further chapters on maternal and child healthcare for foreigners, pre-school education, death policies and citizenship, provides an overview of contemporay Japanese society that cuts through all the time-worn stereotypes and assumptions about the immutability of traditional values and behaviour. It acknowledges that the Japanese social landscape is rapidly changing and looks deep within society to explain these changes.' Asian Affairs

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521016353
    • length: 256 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus. 7 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: anthropology, policy and the study of Japan Roger Goodman
    2. Toward a cultural biography of civil society in Japan Victoria Lynn Bestor
    3. Pinning hopes on angels: reflections from an aging Japan's urban landscape Glenda Roberts
    4. Reproducing identity: maternal and child health care for foreigners in Japan Setsuko Lee and Carolyn Stevens
    5. State, standardization and 'normal' children: an anthropological study of a preschool Eyal Ben-Ari
    6. Child abuse in Japan: 'discovery' and the development of policy Roger Goodman
    7. Touching of the hearts: an overview of programs to promote interaction between the generations in Japan Leng Leng Thang
    8. Death policies in Japan: the state, the family and the individual Yohko Tsuji
    9. Embodiment, citizenship and social policy in contemporary Japan Vera Mackie.

  • Editor

    Roger Goodman, University of Oxford
    Roger Goodman is lecturer in the social anthropology of Japan at the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies and the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford. His publications include Children of the Japanese State: The Changing Role of Child Protection Institutions in Contemporary Japan (2000) and The East Asian Welfare Model: Welfare Orientalism and the State (1998).


    Roger Goodman, Victoria Lynn Bestor, Glenda Roberts, Setsuko Lee, Carolyn Stevens, Eyal Ben-Ari, Leng Leng Thang, Yohko Tsuji, Vera Mackie

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