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Community Volunteers in Japan by Lynne Nakano

By Lynne Nakano

Volunteering is a contemporary and hugely noticeable phenomenon in Japan, followed as a significant social job via hundreds of thousands of eastern and lined generally within the jap media. This ebook, in response to wide unique study, tells the tales of group volunteers who make social switch via their daily acts. It discusses their reports in kid's actions, the parent-teachers organization, juvenile delinquency prevention campaigns, and care of the aged. It explores their conflicts and their motivations, and argues that private judgements to volunteer and acts of volunteering, in addition to being own offerings, are effective of bigger discussions of the wishes and instructions of jap society.

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1 Perhaps in response to a tendency among feminists in the West to assume a gap between, in Aihwa Ong’s words, “us feminists and them ‘oppressed’ women” (1994: 473), some feminist theorists in Japan have suggested that we look for women’s power in other forms besides political achievement and corporate promotions. If we allow ourselves to consider alternative forms of empowerment, we find that women have made substantial gains in recent decades. Women’s entrance Gender reform 41 into higher education and the workforce has brought about substantive changes in women’s experiences and views of gender roles.

People created meanings in their lives from multiple narrative possibilities including storylines of Hollywood films, Soka Gakkai self-improvement narratives, Japanese health guru biographies, and feminist success stories. I suggest that these multiple narratives can be thought of as the discursive material from which social changes emerge. Instead of finding social transformation in individual actions, I suggest that we may locate the source of social change in selves’ decisions about how to imagine their lives.

Kawamoto believed that community rather than individual achievement had to be the basis of well-being and quality of life. Kotani wished to provide warm memories of school and community for her young children Volunteers’ stories 37 before they experienced the competition and responsibilities of adulthood. Yamada wanted to help the poor and distressed in the danchi because she knew that no one else would help them. In other words, volunteers wanted to make society a better place. They wanted to create memories, warmth, and support that were not available in other social institutions.

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