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Reworking JapanChanging Men at Work and Play under Neoliberalism$
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Nana Okura Gagné

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781501753039

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501753039.001.0001

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Historicizing Japanese Workers and Japanese Capitalism

Historicizing Japanese Workers and Japanese Capitalism

(p.25) 1 Historicizing Japanese Workers and Japanese Capitalism
Reworking Japan

Nana Okura Gagné

Cornell University Press

This chapter begins with a brief historicization of salarymen from the late 1800s to the early 1990s. It focuses on the formation of the socioeconomic category of the New Middle Class and the cultural production of the new middle-class orientation within Japan's economic and industrial structure. It also traces the historical trajectory through which the modern configuration of welfare, work, and family emerged in prewar Japan and then took new shape in postwar Japan through the fractious struggle of workers and management. The chapter examines how the particular construction of the new middle class as a lived experience has been articulated through the socioeconomic category of the new middle class. It situates the contemporary discourse of neoliberal economic reforms within the historical development of Japanese corporate governance and Japanese capitalism.

Keywords:   salarymen, New Middle Class, cultural production, prewar Japan, postwar Japan, neoliberal economic reforms, Japanese corporate governance, Japanese capitalism

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