Is Japanese society essentially different from other modern industrialized societies, or not? This survey work with contributions from the leading scholars in this complicated field, presents a full overview of the most important aspects of Japanese society which may lead the reader to find an answer to these two often-asked questions. Japanese society, defined as those institutions shaping the life of individuals and groups, as well as being responsible for the dynamics of social development, is shown to be as modern as any other industrialized society; definitely distinct, though, are the ways in which institutions are defined and organised as a result of different social and historical roots of the process of modernization.
Edited by Tim Bunnell, Lisa Drummond and Ho
Critical Reflections draws together the multi-disciplinary research of scholars working in/on cities across Southeast Asia. The fourteen essays collected in the volume are organised into three thematic sections: (re)conceptualisation, competition and intervention. Collectively, these reflections contribute to and interrogate the expanding urban and regional studies literature. The volume constitutes a critical corrective to the existing literature which all-too-often seeks to diagnose contemporary urban trends everywhere from a small number of, mostly Western, "paradigmatic cases". Yet, while acknowledging the increasing interconnectedness and shared global orientation of most cities in Southeast Asia, the volume is wary of positing an equally generalising regional model. Individually, these essays attend to the diversity of contemporary urban experiences in Southeast Asia.