Illusion of Indolence—Ideology and Partial Truths

Margaret Lock

in Encounters with Aging

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 1994 | ISBN: 9780520082212
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520916623 | DOI:
Illusion of Indolence—Ideology and Partial Truths

Show Summary Details


The pathological nuclear family does not resemble the lived experience of most Japanese people. Like all plausible rhetoric, however, it contains elements of reality: there are many men who rarely see their families, thousands of children who refuse for a while to go to school, and old people and housewives who are isolated and lonely. Discussion about the fragility of the nuclear family is one facet of the larger internal cultural debate as to what Japan and its people represent in the modern world. Debates such as these are an intrinsic part of the experience of modernity, and hence similar discussions are taking place in most corners of the world today. Tradition and modernity, rural and urban life form stereotyped oppositions, as do full-time care of a household and employment outside the home.

Keywords: nuclear family; urbanization; cultural debate; Japan; modernity

Chapter.  14676 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.