Non-Fiction Books:

On the Margins of Japanese Society

Volunteers and the Welfare of the Urban Underclass

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On the Margins of Japanese Society by Carolyn S Stevens
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Japan is regarded as a society that provides "cradle to grave" security to those who conform to its standards. Carolyn Stevens' ethnographic study of social life in Kotobuki, (an inner city district of Yokohama), documents the lives of those on low income who have missed the Japanese economic miracle. Kotobuki is the toughest neighbourhood in Yokohama and a traditional home to day labourers. The author has spent a number of years in the district and has closely examined the lives of those who live there, mostly the unemployed, elderly and disabled. Also she has sought to understand the small number of volunteers, such as middle-class Japanese Christians and radical students, who go there in order to address issues of social justice through their charitable work. On the Margins of Japanese Society demonstrates how volunteering in Kotobuki is seen as a response to social marginality, both personal and political. There, social rules are less restrictive and more flexible, than in the rest of Japan, which allows volunteers and residents to create and re-create definitions of their identities.

Author Biography

Carolyn S. Stevens is Professor of Japanese Studies and Director of the Japanese Studies Centre at Monash University, Australia.
Release date NZ
March 27th, 1997
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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