Centre for Policy on Ageing


Japanese 'Teinen Taishoku'
 — how cultural values affect retirement
Author(s)John McCallum
Journal titleAgeing and Society, vol 8, part 1, March 1988
Pagespp 23-41
KeywordsRetirement ; Attitudes to retirement ; Social economics ; Japan.
AnnotationRecent international research on retirement neglects the macro social context in which the process occurs. In an attempt to redress this neglect, this paper analyses the phenomenon of retirement in Japan. It is argued, firstly, that different understandings of egalitarianism and individualism structure public policies about retirement in different countries. Japan with its different culture but highly developed economy provides a unique point of comparison with other developed countries because it can provide evidence of cultural values affecting individual motivation to action. In Japan, a strong group orientation as opposed to individualism in other developed countries has two consequences relevant to retirement. Firstly, individuals are unwilling to separate from their work group; and secondly, they are not socialised for leisure. Evidence is presented on how macro social factors influence work participation and attitudes. Finally, multivariate analyses show that cultural factors operate in conjunction with economic ones in retirement decisions. It is concluded that macro-social factors cannot be neglected in studying retirement and that caution is needed in taking policy innovations for dealing with population ageing from one culture and another. (KJ/RH).
Accession NumberCPA-930628107 A
ClassmarkG3: G7:DP: W4: 7DT

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