Discussion 6: “Independence”
Question 1: What is the difference in attitude between older and younger generations on the issue of homelessness, according to the film Homeless in Japan? Give two examples and explain why there may be a generational gap on how homelessness is perceived. We can use two specific examples from the film Homeless in Japan to explain how older generations more commonly have a negative view on the issue of homelessness as younger generations have a more positive outlook. The “Silver Generation” is a reflection of the generational gap and different perceptions on homelessness. This group consists of retirees that worked for the same company their entire lives but their children, due to the recession and effects on employment, will not enjoy the same kind of benefits like a pension and honor for their contributions. The recession caused Japanese companies to hire two to three part time jobs to cover one full time job, which causes the older generation traditions and values to become outdated. Younger generations are forced to fulfill old expectations with drastically different resources, and deviating from old customs causes discomfort in elders’ minds. The following examples will justifies a generational gap on how homelessness is perceived today in Japan. The first example, of an elder homeless man name Mr. Kawaguchi, represents the negative view on homelessness and the shame older generations acquired after the recession. The recession caused broken families, bankruptcies, and unemployment that significantly affected older generations and their society built around the salaried worker. The hard work mentality of elders does not equal the current conditions and mentality of Japanese youth because the middle class salaried worker lifestyle isn’t nearly as common. The second example, of a young filmmaker names Sugimasa Yamashita, describes the outlook of unemployed Japanese on homelessness as positive because they happily prefer their...
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