Japan's New Inequality
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After the collapse of Japan's bubble-economy in the late 1980s, a wide range of neo-liberal reforms were introduced which dramatically affected the nature of the labor market. These reforms expanded and consolidated a two-tier market, widening the gap between those who benefit from the 'company citizenship' of 'regular' (long-term, secure) employment conditions and those who are increasingly disadvantaged by reduced income and security in the peripheral non-regular system of casual and short-term employment. The contributions in this volume use the 2005 Social Stratification and Mobility (SSM) survey data to analyze the effects of Japanese labor market reforms on social mobility, social welfare, company 'citizenship,' incomes, as well as the policy implications for homelessness.
"The volume makes a timely contribution in the context of extensive public debate in the media and recent academic works about the widening gap between rich and poor, and about the consequences of that gap for individuals and the society as a whole. The book is a valuable addition to the field and complements recent publications on social inequality . . . [and] is significant in two major ways. The first is that, going beyond quantitative changes in social inequality, it illuminates, and convincingly argues for, qualitative changes in social inequality. This is insightful. It advances our understanding of patterns of inequality, since we have long seen debates on increasing inequality in income and life chances and in terms of the 'working poor' and 'new poverty.' The second significance is the authors' insistence that institutions rather than individual attributes guide social inequality . . . Institutions set boundaries to, and guide, family and individual decision and actions, which have resulted in the qualitative changes in social inequality in the last three decades." - Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 40, No. 1, 2014
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