Middle Stratum Consumption Patterns as a “Key” for Understanding Japanese Society

  • Maya Keliyan
Part of the International Series on Consumer Science book series (ISCS)


This chapter is devoted to Japanese consumption patterns and the place and role of the middle strata in Japanese consumer society. Consumption is accepted as a key to understanding postmodern society peculiarities, structures, and transformations. Here consumption patterns are used as a methodological tool for the study of postmodern Japanese society, and of the particular features and significant role of its middle strata.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the growth and stabilization of the middle strata became the goal of the ruling Japanese elites, and also the model of material success at the individual and social levels. Middle stratum growth and stabilization led to the emergence of a myth of Japan as “middle-class” or even “middle-mass” society. Starting from the 1980s, Japan turned from a “society of the middle mass” into a “divided middle mass” society. Since the second half of the 1990s till now Japan has been undergoing recessions and crises, followed by periods of recovery. Since the turn of the twentieth century the growing social inequalities are becoming topics of intense discussion. The changes in postmodern Japanese society since the beginning of twenty-first century have led to new “differentiation,” “specialization,” and “regioning” in Japanese consumer society and this is influencing the middle stratum consumption patterns.


Consumption Consumption patterns Middle strata Lifestyle Japanese consumer society 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maya Keliyan
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge, Bulgarian Academy of SciencesSofiaBulgaria

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