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Japan’s NEETs

by Ewa Nowogorski

NEET (Not in Employment Education or Training) – a word that still holds a negative connotation when uttered. This word was originally founded in the United Kingdom as a classification category, but became popular in other countries. While it was meant to be a classification, it is commonly used as a derogatory term against those to whom it applies. The malice behind this term was often justified under the pretense of the objective reality that NEETs are either too lazy or parasitic in character. However, while the phenomenon was not well understood in the early 90s and 2000s, the issue has come to show itself in much different light.

As social issues regarding workplace abuse, overwork, negligence of psychological health, and many more come to light, the psychology and rationale behind those who are NEETs is understood better. We find that, what causes one to become a NEET is not the character flaws but rather the harsh reality of abuse in the workplace.

While many may think that NEETs are somewhat special to Japan, it is a phenomenon seen around the world, as many choose to live a minimalist life (at times relying on others) as the luxuries of financial stability are given less priority than the psychological well-being of an individual.

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