The Routledge Companion to Contemporary Japanese Social Theory breaks new ground in providing a detailed, systematic appraisal of the major traditions of social theory prominent in Japan today – from theories of identity and individualization to globalization studies. The volume introduces readers to the rich diversity of social-theoretical critique in contemporary Japanese social theory.

The editors have brought together some of the most influential Japanese social scientists to assess current trends in Japanese social theory, including Kazuhisa Nishihara, Aiko Kashimura, Masahiro Ogino, Yumiko Ehara and Kiyomitsu Yui. The volume also contains dialogues with these Japanese contributors from authoritative Western social theorists – including, among others, Axel Honneth, Roland Robertson, Bryan S. Turner, Charles Lemert and Anthony Elliott – to reflect on such developments. The result is an exciting, powerful set of intellectual exchanges. The book introduces, contextualizes and critiques social theories in the broader context of Japanese society, culture and politics – with particular emphasis upon Japanese engagements and revisions of major traditions of social thought. Divided into two sections, the book surveys traditions of social thought in Japanese social science and presents the major social issues facing contemporary Japan.

The book will appeal to students and scholars of sociology, social theory, critical theory, psychoanalysis, risk, gender studies, feminist studies, self and identity studies, media studies and cultural studies.

chapter |13 pages

Editors' Introduction

ByAnthony Elliott, Masataka Katagiri, Atsushi Sawai

part |117 pages

Traditions of social thought

chapter |3 pages

Prelude 1: Phenomenological Sociology in Japan

ByNick Crossley

chapter |23 pages

Critical Theory and its Development in Post-War Japanese Sociology

Pursuing true democracy in rapid capitalist modernization
ByTakeshi Deguchi

chapter |4 pages

Prelude 3: On Passionate Dissent

ByAnthony Elliott

chapter |17 pages

Structuralism, Post-Structuralism and Thereafter

ByMasahiro Ogino

chapter |3 pages

Prelude 5: Risk and Reflexive Modernization

ByRoland Robertson

chapter |18 pages

Acceptance of Beck's Theory in Japan

From environmental risks to individualization
ByMidori Ito, Munenori Suzuki

part |117 pages

Issues in Japanese social theory

chapter |4 pages

Prelude 6: The Three Selves in Japanese Society

ByAnthony Elliott

chapter |19 pages

The Three Selves in Japanese Society

Individualized, privatized, and psychologized selves
ByMasataka Katagiri

chapter |4 pages

Prelude 7: From Feminism to Postfeminism in Forty Years?

ByLaura Dales, Chilla Bulbeck

chapter |17 pages

Network, Community and Culture

ByTomohiko Asano

chapter |4 pages

Prelude 9: Postmodern Social Theory

ByEric L. Hsu

chapter |21 pages


ByAtsushi Sawai

chapter |6 pages

Prelude 10: Japanese Uniqueness Versus Globalization

A reply to Professor Yui
ByBryan S. Turner

chapter |19 pages


ByKiyomitsu Yui

chapter |4 pages


Apollo's chariot
ByCharles Lemert