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The Growth IdeaPurpose and Prosperity in Postwar Japan$
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Scott O'Bryan

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832827

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832827.001.0001

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The Growth Idea and Early Postwar History

The Growth Idea and Early Postwar History

(p.1) Introduction The Growth Idea and Early Postwar History
The Growth Idea

Scott O’Bryan

University of Hawai'i Press

This book explores the formative years of growth as an idea that redefined national conceptions of purpose and prosperity in postwar Japan. It considers the ways in which growth as theory and practice emerged in the specific context of Japanese capitalism alongside rapid economic expansion itself during the first decade and a half after World War II. It links the preoccupation with high growth of the postwar years in Japan to the twentieth-century rise of growth both as an object of social scientific knowledge and as an analytical paradigm that came to govern political-economic practices in nations around the world. The discusses the ways in which changes in social science contributed to Japanese forms of postwar growthism; the political harnessing of the growthist ideal to articulate a domestic vision of national postwar purpose; and efforts made by growth publicists to expand Japanese notions about what level of material and social prosperity the nation might be able to achieve in a reshaped postwar world.

Keywords:   growth, prosperity, postwar Japan, capitalism, social science, growthism, purpose

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