The New Individualism and Contemporary Japan: Theoretical Avenues and the Japanese New Individualist Path

Anthony Elliott, Masataka Katagiri, Atsushi Sawai

研究成果: Article査読

12 被引用数 (Scopus)

抄録

Recent social theory has identified various institutional forces operating at a global level promoting novel trends towards "individualization", "reflexive self-identity" and "new individualism" (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, 2001; Giddens, 1991, 1992; Elliott and Lemert, 2009, 2009a). This article develops an exploratory overview of the theory of new individualism with reference to Japanese sociologies of self specifically and contemporary Japanese society more generally. Detailing the large-scale societal shift in Japan from traditional forms of identity-construction (based on a citizenship model of social order) to post-traditional forms of identity-construction (promoted by globalization and neoliberal policies), the article distinguishes between four discourses of the self in post-war Japanese society: the age of the ideal; the age of the dream; the age of fiction; and, the age of fragmentation. Moreover, the article examines the Japanese employment system and the emergence of new individualist employment, as well as considering the emotional impacts of a rise in suicides in contemporary Japan. The argument is that the new individualist thesis can contribute to a sociological understanding of recent social transformations in Japan. However, situating new individualism in the context of Japan also highlights significant tensions in processes of new individualism, tensions between individual initiatives and institutional pressures.

本文言語English
ページ(範囲)425-443
ページ数19
ジャーナルJournal for the Theory of Social Behaviour
42
4
DOI
出版ステータスPublished - 2012 12月

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 社会心理学
  • 哲学
  • 心理学(全般)

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