John Clammer's Contemporary Urban Japan: A Sociology of Consumption PDF

By John Clammer

This quantity demonstrates a clean method of city experiences in addition to a brand new means of modern Japan which hyperlinks economic system and society in an cutting edge approach.

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The style and colour of dress and the consumption of foods and entertainments is expected to evolve over the lift-cycle. Old age then is in an important sense socially constructed through consumption which si_palsand reflects the social catcgories into which chronologcal aging is culturally organized. The 'life-projects' identified by sociologists such as Anthony Giddcns as charactcristic of late modernity in the \Vest (Giddens 1991) do not have identical equivalents inJapan, where life-projects are much more likely to be organized around the expected characteristics of phases of the life-cycle (itself culturally patterncd).

Gender differences also became very visible in the same period and continue down to the present. 8 per cent. Expenditure by men, however, rose far less rapidly, reflecting a tendency for young women, especially before marriage, to spend more on leisure, recreation and travel as well as on shopping. Japan is interestingly a society of high consumption despite high consumer prices, and a society of mass consumption and mass savings (Horioka 1993) Such considerations are related to a number of other features of consumption culture in Japan.

The second is that, at anothcr level, what unites most urban Japanese is participation in a common culture of consumption. The same magazines can be read from one end of the (very long) country to the other, the same advertisements are vicwed nationally, and fashions and trends of many kinds that begin in ’Ihkyo diffuse rapidly to the rest of the country. It is the dialectical rclationship between these two cultural forces - the unifying tcridencies of a common consumer culture with its often internationalizing elements on the one hand, and the varieties of indigenous urban cultures with their regional characteristics on the other - that providcs the fucl for much of the dynamics of everyday urban life: the desire, for example, to defend identity as a Japanese while simultaneously consuming the world.

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