Interdisciplinary journal focusing primarily on sociological, political science and historical perspectives on the issue of long-term social processes and trends, modernization, globalization tendency and impacts.

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Published by Charles University in Prague, Karolinum Press, cooperated with Faculty of Humanities, Charles University in Prague.

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HISTORICKÁ SOCIOLOGIE, Vol 13 No 2 (2021), 17–30

Amorphization amid Fragmentation: Japanese Society 1990–2020

Yoshio Sugimoto

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14712/23363525.2021.15
announced: 29. 11. 2021


This paper sketches the major sociological transformations of Japanese society of the last three decades, 1990–2020, which can be regarded as a crucial turning point in Japan’s history. It first examines the marked paradigm changes that have occurred in Japanese studies. The paper then endeavours to unravel how such alterations reflect the structural changes caused by the penetration of neoliberalism, the decline of the manufacturing industry, and the expansion of cultural capitalism. After illustrating how these forces have fragmented social relations, the paper ends with a description of how Japanese society is becoming increasingly amorphous in its social structures and value orientations. The paper attempts to cast the shifts of these three decades into relief against the background of the previous three decades, 1960–1989, when Japan enjoyed spectacular economic growth.

keywords: Japanese society; third opening; neoliberalism; cultural capitalism; amorphization; fragmentation

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