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Double and Multiple Responsibilities of Care: Current Issues Based on the Latest Survey


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The East Asia Program within the Moynihan Institute presents a virtual talk with Professor Naoko Soma from Yokohama National University in Japan.

An increasing number of people in East Asia perform “double care,” where they are caring for both children and the elderly simultaneously. This is the result of the concurrent trends of population aging and advancing ages of marriage and childbearing.

This presentation will first review the current situation and policies regarding people dealing with multiple responsibilities of care in East Asia, especially in Japan, based on our latest survey. By comparing the development of social policy for "young-carers," who have become a new policy issue in recent years in Japan, some interesting contrasts emerge in welfare politics in problematizing issues of multiple responsibilities of care.

Furthermore, Soma will examine the development of intergenerational care policy in Japan to challenge the familyism or male-breadwinner model embedded in social policy with the goal of envisioning policy change in this low fertility society.

Naoko Soma (相馬直子 そうまなおこ) is a professor in the International Graduate School of Social Sciences at Yokohama National University, Japan. She specializes in the sociology of care and family policy in East Asia, especially in Japan and South Korea.  Some of her recent publications include the co-authored articles "Gendered Responsibility of Multigenerational Care: Examining 'Defamilialisation' Policies in Family-centered Welfare Regimes in East Asia" (2023) and "Gendered Pandemic in Japan: Childcare, Parents' Employment, and Housework during Covid-19 through Survey in Yokohama” (2022).


Social Science and Public Policy


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MAX-East Asia Program, MAX-Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs


Matt Baxter


Contact Matt Baxter to request accommodations