Lost in Transition tells the story of the “lost generation” that came of age in Japan's deep economic recession in the 1990s. The book argues that Japan is in the midst of profound changes that have had an especially strong impact on the young generation. The country's renowned “permanent employment system” has unraveled for young workers, only to be replaced by temporary and insecure forms of employment. The much-admired system of moving young people smoothly from school to work has frayed. The book argues that these changes in the very fabric of Japanese postwar institutions have loosened young people's attachment to school as the launching pad into the world of work and loosened their attachment to the workplace as a source of identity and security. The implications for the future of Japanese society—and the fault lines within it—loom large.
In this book editors Francine Blau, Mary Brinton, and David Grusky
bring together top gender scholars in sociology and economics to make
sense of the recent changes in gender inequality, and to judge whether
the optimistic or pessimistic view better depicts the prospects and
bottlenecks that lie ahead. It examines the economic, organizational,
political, and cultural forces that have changed the status of women
and men in the labor market. The contributors examine the economic
assumption that discrimination in hiring is economically inefficient
and will be weeded out eventually by market competition. They explore
the effect that family-family organizational policies have had in
drawing women into the workplace and giving them even footing in the
organizational hierarchy. Several chapters ask whether political
interventions might reduce or increase gender inequality, and others
discuss whether a social ethos favoring egalitarianism is working to
overcome generations of discriminatory treatment against women.