Contemporary Japanese society is often regarded as an enigma because of its miraculous economic growth and the unparalleled stability of its socio-political structure. Yet until now, there have been very few works available in English which are concerned with stratification and class perceptions in contemporary Japan, an ommission which this study rectifies. It also addresses the fact that current works in the various fields of Japanese studies tend to lack relevant sociological data, which is amply provided in this book which uses empirical nationwide datasets called SSM on social stratification and mobility which have accumulated over a 30-year period since 1955. The work is both empirical and theoretical, with the sociological perspective serving as the underlying framework. A succinct historical overview is provided for those who might not be familiar with modern Japanese history.
Introduction - historical background, preceding studies
notions of class, status, and social mobility - formal framework of the problems, historical framework of the problems, cross-national framework of the problems
aspects of social inequalities and differences - income disparity, other social differences, changing stratification over time
intergenerational social mobility - trend of intergenerational mobility, self-employment and social mobility, comparison with other countries
labour market and career mobility - introduction, basic concepts and data, internal labour market and intercompany mobility, intersectorial mobility
class and status perceptions - introduction, changing class and status perceptions, the middle classification phenomena (empirical analysis and formal analysis)
political attitude and social strata - political attitude, social strata, cleavage of party supporter 1955, ruin of the reformist parties 1985, "no party affiliation" as a cause of fluctuations
women's changing status and status identification - introduction, overview of some differences between sexes, status identification of married women, attitude for sex-segregated traditions.