2008 年 44 巻 p. 73-82
The issue of social strata on the study of adult and local education was pointed out a long time ago, however few studies have been conducted so far. This study focuses on the influence of social strata on the use/nonuse of local education services. As a case study, I examined the influences of social strata on the use of children's services at public libraries by using data from all 47 of Japan's prefectures from 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995 and 2000. By employing a step-wise, multi regression analysis of children's literature, with circulation per capita under 15 as a dependent variable, and with a control of number of libraries, budgets and book collections, it is found that the influence of parents' educational background and fathers' income became significant from the 1990s and later. Although the conditions of public libraries improved substantially between 1980 and 2000, the influence of social strata was not reduced, regretfully.
This outcome does not show that children belonging to high strata use libraries more frequently than other children. However, it is evidence that the relationship between social strata and learning opportunities is still an important issue in the study of local education.