Ezra F. Vogel is the Henry Ford II Professor of Social Sciences Emeritus at Harvard University. Suzanne Hall Vogel (1931–2012) was a psychotherapist with University Health Services at Harvard University. William W. Kelly is professor of anthropology and Sumitomo Professor of Japanese Studies at Yale University.
Japan's New Middle Classby Ezra F. Vogel
In 1958, Suzanne and Ezra Vogel embedded themselves in a Tokyo
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This classic study on the sociology of Japan remains the only in-depth treatment of the Japanese middle class. Now in a fiftieth-anniversary edition that includes a new foreword by William W. Kelly, this seminal work paints a rich and complex picture of the life of the salaryman and his family.
In 1958, Suzanne and Ezra Vogel embedded themselves in a Tokyo suburb, living among and interviewing six middle-class families regularly for a year. Tracing the rapid postwar economic growth that led to hiring large numbers of workers who were provided lifelong employment, the authors show how this phenomenon led to a new social class—the salaried men and their families. It was a well-educated group that prepared their children rigorously for the same successful corporate or government jobs they held. Secure employment and a rising standard of living enabled this new middle class to set the dominant pattern of social life that influenced even those who could not share it, a pattern that remains fundamental to Japanese society today.
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