Seminar Series

Family and Inequality: “Diverging Destinies” in Japan?

2020年11月25日(水)9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
  • James Raymo Professor of Sociology & Henry Wendt III ’55 Professor of East Asian Studies, Princeton University
  • Shirahase Sawako TCJS Director

Research on the “diverging destinies” of children provides a compelling and influential framework for understanding how growing socioeconomic differences in family behavior contribute to inequality and the reproduction of disadvantage. Despite the international prominence of this framework, it has received almost no attention in research on family and inequality in Japan. In this talk, I discuss demographic trends in Japan relevant to the notion of diverging destinies, consider what we can learn by incorporating Japan into the broader international research conversation, and summarize related work that colleagues and I have conducted in recent years. This work examines educational differences in marriage, cohabitation, pregnancy, childbearing, and divorce; the well-being of single mothers; and relationships between parental resources and children’s well-being. In making a case for research on diverging destinies in Japan, I stress the theoretical and empirical value of considering intergenerational family relationships, gender inequality, and the changing economic environment.


Jim Raymo is Professor of Sociology and the Henry Wendt III ’55 Professor of East Asian Studies at Princeton University. Raymo is a social demographer whose research focuses on documenting and understanding the causes and potential consequences of demographic changes in Japan. His published research includes analyses of marriage timing, divorce, recession and fertility, marriage and women’s health, single mothers’ well-being, living alone, employment and health at older ages, and regional differences in health at older ages. His current research focuses on children’s well-being, changing patterns of family formation, single motherhood, and social isolation and health at older ages.