What shapes the decisions of employees in Japan? The authors of this comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the relationship between work and society in Japan argue that individual decisions about work can only be understood through the broader social context. Many factors combine to affect such choices including the structuring of labour markets, social policy and, of course, global influences which have come increasingly to impinge on the organisation of work and life generally. By considering labour markets, social policy and relationships between labour and management, the book offers penetrating insights into contemporary Japanese society and glimpses of what might come in the future. Underlying the discussion is a challenge to the celebration of Japanese management practices which has dominated the literature for the last three decades. This is an important book for students of sociology and economics.
Ross Mouer is Professor of Japanese Studies in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University. His publications include Images of Japanese Society: A Study in the Construction of Social Reality (1986 with Yoshio Sugimoto). Kawanishi Hirosuke is Professor of Sociology at Waseda University, Tokyo. He is the author and editor of many books including Enterprise Unionism in Japan (1991) and The Human Face of Industrial Conflict in Post-war Japan (1999).
List of figures; List of tables; Preface; Note on transliteration, romanization and translation; List of abbreviations; Part I. A Context for Studying Work: 1. The Japanese at work; 2. Toward a sociology of work in postwar Japan; 3. Competing models for understanding work in Japan; Part II. The Commitment to Being at Work: 4. Hours of work, labor-force participation and the work ethic; Part III. Processing Labor Through Japan's Labor Markets: 5. Change and challenge in the labor market; 6. Segmentation of the labor market; Part IV. The Broader Social Policy Context for Understanding Choice at Work in Japan: 7. From labor policy to social policy: a framework for understanding labor process in Japan at the national level 8. Social security and safety nets; Part V. The Power Relations Shaping the Organization of Work in Japan: 9. The state of the union movement in Japan; 10. Management organizations and the interests of employers; Part VI. The Future: 11. The future of work in Japan; References; Author index; General index.