This volume presents sociological and psychological studies referring to social change in Japanese society. For a long time Japan’s economic achievement which has often been related to the traditional Japanese value system, has been seen as a possible model for Western societies. Presently, the ongoing economic problems shake this image, and several questions arise: Did the traditional values contribute to the present problems? What are these values and what functions did they have? What social consequences do the present economic problems have - e.g. affecting the life long employment system, the security etc - and to these phenomena change the basic value system of the society? Or will just the contrary occur: Is the traditional value system resistant and does it function as a stabilizing factor? The studies presented in this volume deal with these questions from different aspects, discussing the value system, changes in the family, the education, the career system, etc. The usefulness of various perspectives becomes obvious: Some studies demonstrate the continuity of certain psychological and social factors that have contributed to the successful modernization of Japan, others indicate processes which may undermine the stability and the until now successful development of Japanese culture and society. By identifying these processes certain similarities with other "postmodern" societies like Germany are discussed.
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