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Precarious Japan

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  80 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
In an era of irregular labor, nagging recession, nuclear contamination, and a shrinking population, Japan is facing precarious times. How the Japanese experience insecurity in their daily and social lives is the subject of Precarious Japan. Tacking between the structural conditions of socioeconomic life and the ways people are making do, or not, Anne Allison chronicles the ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published November 22nd 2013 by Duke University Press Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Jul 21, 2015 Trevor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: social-theory
Now this is a remarkably interesting book. I’ve become increasingly interested in precariousness – especially since reading Bauman on the ‘precariat’, a cross between proletariat and precarious. That is, those who live lives that are almost completely devoid of security, that is, increasingly large numbers of us today. And that is what this book is about in spades.

We in the west have a particularly interesting view of ‘the East’ and of the Japanese in particular. We think of them as insects in m
Yuuki Nakashima
Jan 03, 2016 Yuuki Nakashima rated it really liked it
The author researched on Japanese current conditions and issues in great detail and this book shows real situations (the minus side) of Japan, so it was kinda depressing book for me. However, I think Japanese people should read it (if it was written in Japanese.) Japanese people tend to conceal avert our eyes from some bad things, especially the issues that are mentioned in this book, so I guess it's tough to know the real situation of our own country here. I want Japanese people to read it and ...more
Eustacia Tan
Oct 31, 2013 Eustacia Tan rated it it was amazing
The only reason that I didn't burst into tears while reading this book is because of extreme self-control. And considering this is a non-fiction book, that is definitely a huge statement that I'm making about this book. If you need me to write it down, here it is: this book is that moving that it will make you want to cry. Repeatedly. It will rip your heart out and make you feel guilt for taking money from the Japanese government.

For such a gut-wrenching book, the subject matter is curiously sim
James Eckman
Mar 21, 2016 James Eckman rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
If you're in academia you can skip this review, it's aimed at the general reader.

First off there are some great stories and anecdotes about what's happened to workers, the elderly and the young after the crash of the boom economy. It's an ugly picture with a mostly austerity government throwing the 'useless' people out of the lifeboat. Since the US's welfare and medical system is close to Japan's, i.e. not much and premium based, it serves as a warning since there are more seniors in Japan than
University of Chicago Magazine
Anne Allison, AM'80, PhD'86

From our pages (Mar–Apr/14): "Until the collapse of Japan's economic bubble in 1991, most Japanese men were able to secure lifelong employment and a middle-class lifestyle. Today fewer and fewer people are able to find full-time work and buy the homes that afford a comfortable family lifestyle. As the country's birth rate has declined, so has morale, but Anne Allison chronicles how some modern Japanese are finding fulfillment in unconventional work and reconceive
Sep 23, 2013 Rachael rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Really good book. It is overall eye opening as to what is going on outside of the personal bubble of an everyday person. I highly recommend this book for everyone, especially for those who love culture and reading about how other societies function.
David Stewart
Jan 16, 2016 David Stewart rated it liked it
Precarious Japan is a book published in 2013, not long after Japan’s massive earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown tragedy in March of 2011. It’s a socioeconomic look at modern Japan, where it’s at and potentially where it’s headed. What struck me most while reading through Precarious Japan was how familiar it felt. I live in the United States, a country far larger and more diverse than Japan. What happens in one state hardly affects another. When 9/11 struck or when Katrina swept New Orleans ...more
Katie/Doing Dewey
Dec 16, 2013 Katie/Doing Dewey rated it liked it
Currently in Japan regular employment is becoming scarcer, the population is aging, and recovery from the nuclear disaster of 3/11 is still underway. All of these factors have made life more uncertain in Japan. Many people feel a lack of belonging and connection to other people. The author, Anne Allison, addresses these issues both through social theories about Japan and her extensive interviews with Japanese citizens.

This is one of those books that is a three star book because there were four s
Aug 20, 2016 Claudette rated it really liked it
Shelves: japan, non-fiction
(Audiobook) If you study Japanology, it is a very interesting book on present day Japanese culture and how the social welfare system is letting society down. How society is currently changing and the insecurities Japanese people face.
Liujayn Al-matarneh
Mar 04, 2015 Liujayn Al-matarneh rated it really liked it
I take a long time to finish it but I don't regret it its open a window for me to the Japanese cultures
Mar 15, 2014 Bill rated it liked it
Extremely interesting subject matter but the book was too academic and too long. Would have been better as a serialized magazine piece.
Sep 24, 2015 Adrienne rated it really liked it
I see where people may criticize Allison's over-reliance on very specific and sporadic case studies, but I still think that this is a worthwhile read and full of useful information.
Horea rated it really liked it
Apr 27, 2014
Matt Swanson
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Feb 03, 2014
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Sep 25, 2014
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“Our table was round,” recalled one of the artists who, from a farming family in Nīgata, returned every planting season to help his now elderly parents plant rice. “A square table has edges, but edges divide people. As a family, we weren't cut off from one another. We ate together and we listened to one another.” Eating together, listening to one another, sharing food. The memory evoked a familiar, now nostalgic, sense of touch in them all.” 0 likes
“For many, the present seems fraught, particularly when the reference point is a past remembered, or reinvented, as idyllically stable: a time when jobs and marriage were secure and a future—of more of the same—could be counted on. But belonging, even then, came at a price: an extraction of a particular kind of—constant, competitive, intense—labor. A sacrifice, some say, of everything else, even (or particularly) the soul: the time to touch a mother with Alzheimer's or to shelter a child getting bullied at school or to simply enjoy the rhythm of slow eating with friends.” 0 likes
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