CONTINUITY AND CHANGE IN JAPANESE SOCIETY
One specific aspect of change in traditional Japanese society came about through an increased acceptance and regard towards the right of girls to be educated. In the past, traditional Japanese culture saw this as a threat, believing that it was a purely western thought which would jeopardise the traditional culture of that society. This movement not only increased educational opportunities, but was also a means by which gender inequality was reduced in Japanese society as it helped place more concern and regard towards the rights and role of women.
Impact of this change:
POSITIVE: The increase in education opportunities for Japanese girls ultimately allowed them to question the status quo and strive to make further changes to better their situation. The Meiji reforms saw widespread changes to the education system by making it accessible to all. This created intense competition for placement in academic schools offering good prospects for entry into a noted university and ultimately enhancing employment opportunities and chances of success, in turn reflecting positively on the ie. NEGATIVE: In traditional society, the ie. had the role of instilling cultural values, whereas in modern Japan, the education system is now charged with that task, teaching junior students the importance of continuity and group identity within a hierarchical context. POSITIVE: Such increased education opportunities for girls gave them the necessary tools to reinforce the ideal of equality of the sexes, introduced by the post WWII democracy, written in the Japanese constitution in form of voting rights and equal opportunity employment, ultimately leading to a dramatic change in the status of women. Statistics also show that one third of Japanese women are entering institutions of higher education and re-entering the workforce as their children enter school. NEGATIVE: On the contrary, some within Japanese society consider such changes to be...
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