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Encounters with AgingMythologies of Menopause in Japan and North America$
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Margaret Lock

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780520082212

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520082212.001.0001

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Illusion of Indolence—Ideology and Partial Truths

Illusion of Indolence—Ideology and Partial Truths

(p.135) 6 Illusion of Indolence—Ideology and Partial Truths
Encounters with Aging

Margaret Lock

University of California Press

The pathological nuclear family does not resemble the lived experience of most Japanese people. Like all plausible rhetoric, however, it contains elements of reality: there are many men who rarely see their families, thousands of children who refuse for a while to go to school, and old people and housewives who are isolated and lonely. Discussion about the fragility of the nuclear family is one facet of the larger internal cultural debate as to what Japan and its people represent in the modern world. Debates such as these are an intrinsic part of the experience of modernity, and hence similar discussions are taking place in most corners of the world today. Tradition and modernity, rural and urban life form stereotyped oppositions, as do full-time care of a household and employment outside the home.

Keywords:   nuclear family, urbanization, cultural debate, Japan, modernity

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