1. Historical backdrop: disintegration and restoration; 2. The Japan phenomenon: analysis and understanding; 3. Class: stratification and disparity; 4. Generations and geography: variations in an aging society; 5. Work: 'Japanese-style' management and cultural capitalism; 6. Education: diversity and unity; 7. Gender and family: challenges to ideology; 8. Ethnicity and Japaneseness: defining the nation; 9. The establishment: competition and collusion; 10. Religion: belief and secularization; 11. Culture: the popular and the cool; 12. Civil society: activism and friendly authoritarianism.
Taking a sociological approach, this text provides a sophisticated, highly readable introduction to Japanese society.
."..this important introductory volume successfully portrays the
variety, disparity, and complexity of Japanes society and culture.
In addition, it provides useful sections on the ways different
groups in Japan are controlled through coercive and ideological
means. Well written and orderly in its presentation, this
introductory text is absed on a wide-ranging reading of research
and scholarship on contemporary Japan.... In sum, I highly
recommend this introductory textbook on Japan for the complex
picture it depicts, for its secure foundation in contemporary
scholarship, and for its clear and accessible style." Eyal Ben-Ari,
Jrnl of Japanese Studies
"Sugimoto's book would be a fine supplementary text for any undergrdaute or graduate course on Japan." William Nester, Asian Thought and Society