1998 年 63 巻 p. 59-74
This paper argues about the possibility of discourse analysis from the point of view of social constructionism. Under this theory, social problems are defined as the activities of individuals or groups making grievances and claims with respect to certain putative conditions. Therefore, this theory “directs attention to the claims-making process, accepting as given and beginning with the participants' descriptions of the putative conditions and their assertions about their problematic character.”(Ibarra and Kitsuse 1993, p.28.)
However, there is a criticism that regarding the claims-making process as given is ontological gerrymandering by constructionists, because claims-making activities are cast as having the same ontological status as the conditions claimed by members.
But, according to Coulter, this paper asserts that claims-making activities or discourses and the objects indicated by them are not ontologically equal, and these things are shown by members' everyday practices themselves.
Taking these methodological positions, this paper examines the 1997 Kobe murder case in order to figure out how the “juvenile” category has been used by members.
For example, the 14-year old suspect in this case remained unnoticed and a month passed after he committed his second murder in May 1997 in spite of many possibilities that he could be recognized. The way members have used the “juvenile” category in everyday life made him visible but unrecognizable. Therefore, this murder case teaches us that the “juvenile” category should not be taken for granted and should be reconsidered all the time.