2002 年 70 巻 p. 89-103
Until the 1980s, adolescent culture in Japan was, for the most part, a student subculture, formed in school and differentiated in relation to students' attitudes toward school. However, in the 1990s this tendency weakened. During this period:(1) Adolescent culture strengthened its character as youth culture in relation to the mass-consumption society and the media;(2) Adolescents' interests shifted from the society, or their status within it, to their inner selves or the human relationships around them; and (3) Establishing an identity became more difficult and adolescents' identities showed a tendency to diffuse.
These changes were caused by schooling and the society surrounding it. Schooling came to emphasize the instant satisfaction and individuality of students rather than their future accomplishments or conformity (This can be described as the “Consumerization of Schooling”). Moreover, it was becoming more difficult for students to realize the merit of schooling, because of the universalization of higher education. As a result, school became just a “place of living, ” where students spent long periods of time. As for the society outside school, adolescents were celebrated as independent consumers in the mass-consumption society. On the other hand, with the progress and spread of personal media such as cell-phones, the Internet and e-mail, it became easier for adolescents not only to greatly expand their relationships, but also to have several characters and to present any of them depending upon the context.
Consequently, the basis of adolescence and adolescent culture was greatly weakened. This is bound to make the purpose and meaning of schooling more ambiguous in the twenty-first century.