Book Chapter

“I don’t want to live too long!”: Successful ageing and the failure of longevity in Japan


This chapter examines ‘successful aging’ through its impacts on formal care workers in Japan. It is based on one year of fieldwork conducted in urban Japan and examines the affective, ethical, and cultural forces that result at times in resilience, compassion, and intimacy between carers and elderly clients, and at other times, in violence, abuse, and abandonment. I argue that locating the source of this divergence in individuals (i.e., adverse coping strategy) reproduces the same neoliberal model of success for care workers as it does for the elderly. Instead, care and abuse in formal care settings can be seen as symptoms of broader political and economic transformations that have been occurring in Japan since the 1990s.

Attached files


Danely, Jason

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences\Department of Social Sciences


Year of publication: 2018
Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-10-03

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Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of “I don’t want to live too long!”: successful ageing and the failure of longevity in Japan
This RADAR resource is Part of Interrogating the neoliberal lifecycle: The limits of success [ISBN: 9783030007690] / edited by Beverley Clack and Michele Paule (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).


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