Against Automobility (Sociological Review Monographs) by Steffen Bohm, Campbell Jones, Chris Land, Matthew Paterson

By Steffen Bohm, Campbell Jones, Chris Land, Matthew Paterson

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By Steffen Bohm, Campbell Jones, Chris Land, Matthew Paterson

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Meanwhile, questions such as pollution, urban overcrowding, and the depopulation of rural areas became increasingly urgent. With the oil shocks of the 1970s, Japan switched to ‘stable’ growth. Internationally, Japan remained in alliance with the US. The defence budget increased year by year. Under such contradictory circumstances, the student movement, or daigaku funsoˆ, emerged during the late 1960s. Students formed a group called Zenkyoˆtoˆ, in which a number of women also participated, and this provided a basis for the emergence of the Women’s Liberation Movement in 1970.

Chapter 1 introduces the historical background, describing abortion and eugenic policies and the economic and political background, beginning in 1868, when Japan began to be modernised. INTRODUCTION 33 Chapters 2 and 3 focus on the debate around the anti-abortion activists’ attempt to outlaw abortion in 1972, and chapters 4 and 5 focus on the attempt to outlaw abortion in 1982. The critiques of the phrase, ‘women’s right to abortion’, both by anti-abortion activists and the Aoi shiba no kai group, as well as reactions from the Women’s Liberation Movement, are introduced, in order to show the disagreements around the concept of ‘rights’ in the 1970s’ abortion debates.

It is proposed that the idea of ‘rights’ used in the women’s reproductive movement can enrich the concept of ‘rights’ by broadening its meaning. 1 There was no strong opposition to abortion before 1868. Before the Meiji period there were records of recommendations of abortion by the local communities, in times of famine, to reduce birth rates and keep the population balanced with levels of agricultural production. Thus, before the Meiji period, abortion and infanticide were employed as means to survive poverty, according to the decisions made by households and communities.

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