Substantial family and work macro-level change has been occurring in Japan. Examples include a decline in the availability of jobs that afford lifetime protection against unemployment, an increase in jobs that do not carry benefits such as a pension, an increase in age at marriage and at first birth, and an increase in marital dissolution. Using life history data from the 2000 National Survey on Family and Economic Conditions, young Japanese appear to have responded to these macro-level changes in a fairly orderly manner. Marriage and childbearing have been postponed, but marriage still precedes childbearing. Education is completed prior to starting work. For men, once work commences, they continue working. For women, the classic conflict between work and family roles is evident. For men and women in both the family and work spheres, Japanese young adults have more orderly life course trajectories than American young adults.
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