Generations in Touch (Anthropology of Contemporary Issues) (Paperback)

Generations in Touch (Anthropology of Contemporary Issues) By Leng Leng Thang Cover Image
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Description


A dilemma long faced by western societies--how to bring the generations together--is also of growing concern in the east. In Japan, where, until recently, the extended family often lived under the same roof, social programs designed to facilitate interaction between old and young have proliferated. Leng Leng Thang offers an in-depth view of one of those programs, an unusual social welfare institution called Kotoen. Kotoen is a pioneering facility for multigenerational living, providing both daycare for preschoolers and a home for elderly residents. With its twin mottoes of fureai (being in touch) and daikazoku (large extended family), it has been the subject of widespread media attention and has served as a model for other institutions. Yet Kotoen has never before been studied seriously.Under its director's inspiring leadership, Kotoen looks unusually promising, but Thang is wary of simplistic conclusions. Her interviews, research, and work as a volunteer at Kotoen reveal the complaints common among some elderly residents toward their surroundings in old age institutions as well as the painful persistence of the traditional family ideal. Yet far from calling the experiment a failure, Thang challenges accepted wisdom and so-called common sense to reveal the advantages and limitations of the relationships fostered between Kotoen's grandchildren and grandparents. The lessons learned from Kotoen illuminate the urgency of re-engaging the generations in an aging society and provide direction for improving the quality of life for all.

About the Author


Leng Leng Thang is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Japanese Studies at the National University of Singapore. She is the coeditor of Old Challenges, New Strategies?: Women, Work, and Family in Contemporary Asia.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780801487323
ISBN-10: 0801487323
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication Date: March 20th, 2001
Pages: 240
Language: English
Series: Anthropology of Contemporary Issues