Understanding Japanese Society / Edition 3

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Overview

With Japan now often leading the way in the establishment of the new global order comes an ever more crucial need to understand a society that is fascinating, but often confusing to the outsider. The third edition of this classic text brings the understanding of Japan into a global context and questions the stereotyped impression of the Japanese often held by those in the rest of the world. Investigating Japanese society through the perspective of a local resident from childhood into adult life, Hendry brings her book fully up to date by covering all aspects of life in the early twenty-first century. She presents the effects on Japanese people of religious fanaticism, disaffection with politicians, the Kobe earthquake and the so-called 'lost-years' of economic recession, while simultaneously admiring the newly vitalised civil society which has emerged. By identifying a new acceptance of internal diversity, alongside a playful fascination with foreign fare, Understanding Japanese Society presents a more complex and positive view of Japan to counter balance the oft-reported picture of economic doom and seriousness. This book is an invaluable tool to students wishing to gain a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of Japanese society and culture. It will also enlighten those travellers and business people interested in learning more about the diverse life styles of the Japanese people.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A comprehensive and coherent approach to understanding Japanese society ... It is a well-crafted introductory book on Japanese society with a strong emphasis on understanding through intimate observation ... this book should be prominent on many reading lists in its own right.' - Sociology

'As our contact with Japan increases, books like this one and the course that inspired it, serve a valuable role in opening up the barriers to understanding.' - - Times Higher Education Supplement

"The author's competence and breadth of knowledge are impressive, and I would have been hard-pressed to find a more suitable guide to introduce me to life in Japan. The bibliography leaves nothing to be desired, and very much fits the metaphor of a branching tree, inviting the reader to explore any branch which he or she finds attractive.
The author also convincingly states her case about some ingrained principles of Japanese society which can be glimpsed in all walks of life in Japan.

The new edition is thoroughly revised, with references to works and studies as recent as 2002, and seems very up to date.

...To sum-up, I would recommend this book as a starting point for any particular subject you find interesting or intriguing about Japanese life, and as a quick yet thorough review of life in Japan." — learnasecondlanguageguide.com

"Overall, I found this book an engaging journey through the complexities of Japanese society. The book challenges the reader to reflect on differences and similarities between Eastern and Western concepts, views, and patterns of behavior. As a textbook for a student with some familiarity with Japanese culture but not much in-depth knowledge, this book is indispensable, as it offers a glimpse into a wide variety of topics which can be studied in more depth, especially if supplemented by the additional readings or films listed under the references." - Ilana Maymind, PhD, Ohio State University, Journal of International and Global Studies

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Joy Hendry is Professor Emerita at Oxford Brookes University, UK.

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Table of Contents

List of figures
Series Editor's Preface
Preface to the third edition
Acknowledgements for the third edition
Introduction 1
1 Sources of Japanese identity: historical and mythological foundations of Japan 5
2 The house and family system 25
3 Socialisation and classification 46
4 Community and neighbourhood 62
5 The education system 82
6 Status, hierarchy and ethnic diversity 101
7 Religious influences 126
8 Ritual and the life cycle 145
9 Careers and continuity: opportunities for working life 164
10 Arts, entertainment and leisure 187
11 Government and the craft of politics 212
12 The legal system and social control 231
Conclusion 249
Index 255
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