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ORDER BY ACCIDENT: The origins and consequences of conformity in contemporary Japan, by Alan S. Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 2000, 156 pp., $25/17.99 pounds(cloth).

The title of this book is misleading, although it captures the main idea of the authors, two social scientists working in Japan and in the United States. When compared to the U.S., Japanese society is more orderly or, to put it differently, more conformist. More people than in the U.S. comply with important norms of society and thus generate a higher level of social order. Why?

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