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A Japanese company in crisis

Synopsis This book is an anthropological investigation into the demise of one of Japan leading life insurance companies. What was it actually like to work at this venerable institution as it slid towards bankruptcy? How did employees react when 800 lay-offs were announced? How did they, and the company itself, cope with rapidly-changing economic and cultural circumstances? This books seeks to answer these questions, and use them as a springboard to examine the issues of strategising. What do people want out of life, and what do they do to get it? How aware are they of other peoples strategies and their own? At a time of rapid change and intense […]

Playing at Politics – The Documentary

The Oxford Union Synopsis Glamour – ambition – fame – despair. You meet them all at the Oxford Union, the most prestigious student debating society in the world. The Oxford Union has been the training ground for a parade of the greatest names in British politics, and guest speakers have ranged from Michael Jackson to Bill Clinton and from Malcolm X to the Queen. The Oxford Union is proud of its traditions as a hothouse training ground of British and global political talent.Yet behind the black-tie debates and the white-tie dinners lurks a world of political intrigue ? backstabbing, strategising, and betrayal. This film throws open the hallowed portals of […]

Playing at Politics

Synopsis This book throws open the portals of the Oxford Union as it follows the excitement, anxiety and manoeuvring of a campaign for the post of President. The author, an academic anthropologist, trailed a candidate for the post of President when making a film for Japanese television. She followed him from the nomination process to election night and beyond. This has provided the basis for an ethnographic study of this most establishment institution – a study that throws new light on the workings of British politics. Using the Oxford Union as a guide the focus of the study is on the British political ideology. What kind of person succeeds in […]

Inside the Japanese company

Synopsis In early Japan literature, the stereotype of the Japanese company was a large, white-collar company with hundreds or even thousands of employees. It has only been in the past decade that this picture has been balanced by studies of other types of Japanese companies and employees — blue-collar companies, small companies, female workers and so on. In fact, the backlash has been so great that the large white-collar company has now become somewhat neglected. This book seeks to redress the balance by providing an in-depth view of employee life inside a rather typical, large, white-collar traditional company. It looks at what everyday life is like for the very many […]