Family under Construction: <i>One Hundred Years at Home</i>

Merry Isaacs White

in Perfectly Japanese

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780520217546
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520936591 | DOI:
Family under Construction: One Hundred Years at Home

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This chapter focuses on family making during the twentieth century in Japan. In the early 1960s, the postwar economy in Japan had not yet reached takeoff and the material lives of ordinary people were still modest. But family life was changing inside and out because of the rise of white-collar employment, rapid urbanization, increased emphasis on schooling as the gauge of life chances, and new consumption standards for the happy family. Over the past hundred years, state making has involved family making. Families on the ground are subject to local economic changes; they are influenced by national economic and political agenda through policies that trickle down to the grassroots level, often at odds with social and economic realities. The chapter also looks at the Meiji model of ryōsai kembo good wife/wise mother, which affected all families, but to different degrees and with different meanings, depending on their class, occupation, and location.

Keywords: family making; Japan; twentieth century; white-collar employment; urbanization; ryōsai kembo

Chapter.  8741 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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