Order amidst Change: Work and Family Trajectories in Japan

Ronald R. Rindfuss, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and East West Center
Minja K. Choe, East West Center
Maria Midea M. Kabamalan, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Noriko Tsuya, Keio University

Substantial family and work change has been occurring in Japan. Examples include a decline in the availability of jobs that afford lifetime protection against unemployment, an increase in jobs that do not carry benefits such as a pension, an increase in age at marriage and at first birth, and an increase in marital dissolution. Using life history data from the 2000 National Survey on Family and Economic Conditions, young Japanese appear to have responded in a fairly orderly manner. Marriage and childbearing have been postponed, but marriage still precedes childbearing. Education is completed prior to starting work. For men, once work commences they continue working. For women, the classic conflict between work and family roles is evident. Beneath this apparent order amidst change lies the possibility of a long-term realignment of family and work roles. The timing of events is described both across as well as within life domains.

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Presented in Session 4: Family and Work