Consumer Politics in Postwar Japan: The Institutional - download pdf or read online

By Patricia L. Maclachlan

ISBN-10: 0231123477

ISBN-13: 9780231123471

Offering comparisons to the U.S. and Britain, this publication examines Japan's postwar customer safety move. geared up mostly by means of and for housewives and spurred by way of significant instances of expense gouging and product infection, the circulate resulted in the passage of simple client safety laws in 1968. even though a lot of the tale issues the recognized "iron triangle" of huge enterprise, nationwide bureaucrats, and conservative celebration politics, Maclachlan takes a broader viewpoint. She issues to the significance of job on the neighborhood point, the position of minority events, the restricted application of the courts, and where of attorneys and teachers in supplying entry to strength. those light social ideas have led to an important volume of buyer protection.

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Broadbent, for example (1998), points out shifts in the political opportunity structure to explain the evolution and impact of the postwar Japanese environmental movement. The positive contributions of Kitschelt and other pos theorists to the study of social movements notwithstanding, the concept of political opportunity structures is open to criticism as a deductive analytical device. ” As Gamson and Meyer argue, the notion of opportunity structure “threatens to become an all-encompassing fudge factor for all the conditions and circumstances that form the context for collective action” (Gamson and Meyer 1996:275).

The following year, as Nader was testifying before Congress for highway and automobile safety legislation, the New York Times revealed that Nader’s private life had been the target of an investigation by gm. Almost overnight, Unsafe at Any Speed became a best-seller and Nader a household word. The publicity surrounding the scandal not only led to a strengthening of the original provisions of what in 1966 became the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, but it also raised the public’s awareness of consumer issues and of efforts by the organized movement to pressure the government to do more for consumers (Nadel 1971:141).

In the case of consumerism, it is unlikely that the issues in question will stimulate comparable levels of group solidarity, since the burdens of consumer “injustices” such as high prices and defective products often transcend social, economic, and political divisions to affect all citizens to varying degrees. 6 These mobilizational challenges are further compounded by free-rider problems faced by all social movement organizations involved in political advocacy (see Mayer 1989:6–7). Since consumer advocacy organizations seek the provision of public goods like product safety regulations—regulations that benefit members and nonmembers alike—individuals engaged in rational calculations of costs and benefits have few incentives to join those organizations (Olson 1965).

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Consumer Politics in Postwar Japan: The Institutional Boundries of Citizen Activism by Patricia L. Maclachlan


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