Séminaire Sciences sociales du Japon contemporain S1 - « Consumption, Commercial Actors and the Emergence of the Middle Class in Late Nineteenth - Early Twentieth Century in Japan »

Dans le cadre du séminaire « Sciences sociales du Japon contemporain S1 - Histoire du Japon contemporain - Analyse et perspectives du modèle de capitalisme japonais », Janet Hunter (London School of Economics) interviendra sur le sujet : « Consumption, Commercial Actors and the Emergence of the Middle Class in Late Nineteenth - Early Twentieth Century in Japan »

 

 

 

Date : Mercredi 26 octobre 2016 -  18h-20h
Lieu : Université Paris Diderot, salle 481C (salle du Conseil - 4ème étage) - 5 rue Thomas Mann 75013 Paris (M° Ligne 14 - RER C "Bibliothèque François Mitterrand" - Bus 62, 64, 89)
 
 

« Consumption, Commercial Actors and the Emergence of the Middle Class in Late Nineteenth - Early Twentieth Century in Japan »
par Janet Hunter (London School of Economics)

 

Résumé de l’intervention

 

The emergence of a Western style 'middle class' in Japan has normally been seen as a  20th century phenomenon, with the growth of urbanisation and new patterns of consumer culture in the interwar years, and the identification of a postwar 'new middle class'. By  the late 1970s surveys showed that a very high proportion of all Japanese self-identified as 'middle class'. This paper explores the transitional period between the Meiji Restoration of 1868 and the First World War, which was in many respects one  of dramatic political, social, intellectual, economic and cultural transformations. The period was closely associated with the exchange of goods, technology and ideas with other countries in Asia and the West, but Japan retained far more independence in its international interactions than most other 'peripheral' territories. Economic processes played a crucial part in the emergence of social distinctions; having a certain level of income was integral to any lifestyle that might be viewed as 'middle class', and the  pattern of income distribution and economic activity helped determine the changing  shape of class and social relations, and the discourse surrounding them.

 

The talk will firstly discuss the existing literature on the emergent middle class of Japan after 1868 and its links to pre-Restoration economic, social and intellectual trends. It will then consider the new 'bourgeois' business and commercial elites credited with Japan's early industrialisation in conjunction with the evolution in the late 19th-early 20th centuries  of  what  havebeentermedthe'oldmiddleclass',  whichhadclearpre-Restoration origins.

 

Finally, it will explore patterns of consumption across this period, suggesting how 'traditional' (i.e. traditional or indigenous Japanese) and 'Western' concepts and artefacts became intertwined in a way that influenced perceptions of what it was to be middle class in Japan, and how that might, or might not, suggest shared values and practices with other parts of the globe.

 

 

La présentation sera donnée en anglais
 
 

Présentation de l’intervenante

Janet Hunter est professeur d’histoire économique (London School of Economics and Political Science) spécialiste du Japon moderne. Ses recherches ont porté sur le développement économique et social du Japon moderne, plus particulièrement sur le développement du marché du travail des femmes, l’industrie textile et le développement des communications. Elle travaille actuellement sur deux projets de recherche : 1/ l’histoire économique des catastrophes naturelles en étudiant les effets économiques du grand tremblement de terre du Kantô de 1923 ; 2/ l’évolution des idées sur lesquestions d’éthique et de morale dans les affaires commerciales de la fin du 19ème siècle au début du 20ème siècle (en collaboration avec la Shibusawa Eiichi Memorial Foundation). Parmi ses nombreuses publications, on peut citer : ‘The Historical Consumer: Consumption and Everyday Life in Japan, 1850-2000’ (edited with P. Francks), Londres, Palgrave, 2011; ‘Reviving the Kansai Cotton Industry: Engineering Expertise and Knowledge Sharing in the Early Meiji Period’, Japan Forum, Spring 2014 ; "Kōsei na shudan de tomi o eru: kigyō dōtoku to shibusawa eiichi", in Kikkawa Takeo and Patrick Fridenson (eds.), Gurōbaru Shihonshugi no naka no Shibusawa Eiichi – Gappon Kyapitarizumu to Moraru, Tokyo,Tōyō Keizai Shinpōsha, 2014, p. 117-153 ; 'Deficient in Commercial Morality'? Japan in Global Debates on Business Ethics in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries, Londres, Palgrave, 2016

 

Bibliographie sélective 

David Ambaras, 'Social Knowledge, Cultural Capital and the New Middle Class in Japan, 1895-1912', Journal of Japanese Studies 24, 2, winter 1998.

 

EH Kinmonth, 'The Impact of Military Procurements on the Old Middle Classes of Japan', Japan Forum 4, 2, 1992.

 

Andrew Gordon, 'The Short Happy Life of the Japanese Middle Class', in Zunz, Schoppa & Hiwatari (eds.), Social Contracts under Stress: the Middle Classes of America, Europe and Japan at the Turn of the Century, New York, 2002.

 

 

 

Contacts : Adrienne Sala  <Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser. > / Brice Fauconnier <Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser. >

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