ANTH 2230 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Freeter, National Pension Scheme, Post-Occupation Japan

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ANTH 2230
Regional Ethnography:
Japanese Society
10/23/14
Today’s topics:
Essay Q & A
Life Course/Aging (II)
Lecture Overview 10/23
Life Course/Aging (II)
Retirement in Postwar Japan
Life Course in Contemporary Japan
Retirement in Contemporary Japan
Aging
Elder care in Postwar Japan
Elder care in Contemporary Japan
Retirement in Postwar Japan: Occupational Differences
Life Course in Contemporary Japan: New Developments
1. Student à worker
Postponed transition due to the longer period of schooling
Transition to full-time, permanent employees may not occur
“Freeters” & the hikikomori (The withdrawn)
2. Unmarriedà marriedà parentà grandparent
Postponed marriages
More women have their first child in their thirties
See the Kawano chapter (Ch9) and the Long chapter in CCJ
3. Worker à retiree
Rising retirement age
Retirement in Contemporary Japan (the 2000s -)
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Policy contexts:
The state is raising the retirement age –65 years old
Economic contexts:
The financial basis of public pensions is weakening (population aging; mismanagement)
Disparity society: The gap between people with permanent jobs and those with non-
permanent jobs is growing
Retirement in contemporary Japan:
Social Contexts
Describe the Fate of a Workaholic (Salaryman) Husband After Retirement
Women are socially independent and maintain their own social network
Former salaried men lose their social network and become dependent on their
wives in the household and beyond
Retired husbands as “wet leaves”
Ozawa-san’s story
Informally divorced but living together
Pension reform and divorce rates
Aging
Older Persons’ Identities in Postwar Japan
1. The elderly, or koreisha - the state’s official definition (65 years old and older)
2. Old people (toshiyori) - negative
3. The retired/Pensioners (65 years old and older) –economic/occupational status
4. Grandparents -kinship status; can be a positive label
Older Persons’ Identities in Contemporary Japan
New images of the elderly in urban Japan
“Senior citizens” - sophisticated, urban status
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