The Relationless Japanese Society and the Practices of Belonging during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Asian Studies

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Title The Relationless Japanese Society and the Practices of Belonging during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Japonska družba brez odnosov in prakse pripadanja med pandemijo COVID-19
 
Creator Delakorda Kawashima, Tinka
 
Subject Japanese society
COVID-19
social isolation
social identity
practices of belonging
muen shakai
relationless society
sociocultural factors
japonska družba
COVID-19
socialna izolacija
družbena identiteta
prakse pripadanja
muen shakai
družba brez odnosov
sociokulturni dejavniki
 
Description The aging of the population, lonely deaths (kadokushi), single-member households, and weak local bonds have been given as signs that Japan is now a “relationless society”, or muen shakai. The term muen shakai has been used by the media to describe a society in which social isolation is intensified because of the lack of connection between immediate family members, more distant relatives, and local community. On the other hand, some sociological and religious studies on Japanese society have shown that it is precisely this social isolation that awakens the need for networking, and even excessive networking. This article studies what types of social relations became highlighted under the new conditions of recommended social isolation due to COVID-19. The Japanese government did not explicitly forbid and sanction socializing, leaving the responsibility and duty for common health to individuals as well as members of groups. It seems that the way in which Japanese society has fought COVID-19 largely depends on existing interpersonal ties and belonging to certain groups and communities. I look at sociocultural factors in social relations in Japan, to examine whether the ties and belonging to groups and communities, which has been more to the fore during COVID-19, is something new in the society or existed preceding the pandemic.
 
Staranje prebivalstva, osamljene smrti, enočlanska gospodinjstva in šibke lokalne vezi nakazujejo, da je Japonska postala »družba brez odnosov« ali muen shakai. Izraz muen shakai mediji uporabljajo za opis družbe, v kateri je družbena izolacija še večja zaradi pomanjkanja odnosov med ožjimi družinskimi člani, bolj oddaljenimi sorodniki in lokalno skupnostjo. Po drugi strani pa so nekatere sociološke in religiozne študije japonske družbe pokazale, da prav ta družbena izolacija vzbuja potrebo po povezovanju in celo pretiranem povezovanju. Ta članek preučuje, katere vrste družbenih odnosov so postale poudarjene v novih razmerah priporočene družbene izolacije zaradi širjenja COVID-19. Japonska vlada druženja ni izrecno prepovedala in sankcionirala, temveč je odgovornost in dolžnost za zdravje prepustila posameznikom kot članom skupin oziroma skupnosti. Zdi se, da je način, kako se je japonska družba borila proti COVID-19, v veliki meri odvisen od obstoječih medosebnih vezi ter pripadnosti določenim skupnostim. V članku preverjam kulturne dejavnike v družbenih odnosih na Japonskem, da bi ugotovila, ali so vezi in pripadnost skupinam in skupnostim, ki so prišle v ospredje med COVID-19, v družbi nekaj novega ali so obstajale že pred pandemijo.
 
Publisher Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakulte / Ljubljana University Press, Faculty of Arts
 
Date 2022-01-19
 
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion
 
Format application/pdf
 
Identifier https://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/as/article/view/10121
10.4312/as.2022.10.1.45-68
 
Source Asian Studies; Vol. 10 No. 1 (2022): Special Issue: Crisis as Danger and Hope—Covid-19 in Asia; 45-68
Azijske študije; Letn. 10 Št. 1 (2022): Special Issue: Crisis as Danger and Hope—Covid-19 in Asia; 45-68
2350-4226
2232-5131
10.4312/as.2022.10.1
 
Language eng
 
Relation https://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/as/article/view/10121/10034
 
Rights Copyright (c) 2022 Tinka DELAKORDA KAWASHIMA
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0
 

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