Recently, the claim that children in Japan are now in crisis and have become dangerous appeals to public opinion. Although the discourse of childhood in the mass media depicts varying and contradictory images of childhood, public images of childhood in general seem to share the as sumption that Japanese children have greatly changed through the past several decades. But is such an assumption true? And if so, how and why have Japanese children changed? This paper firstly examines how to engage in sociological research on children in changing society without any distortion derived from popularized images of childhood and children. I identify four areas of study: children's consciousness and behaviour, their factors of change, adults' perspectives on children and their factors of change. We must put together many empirical studies which specifically focus on topics within one of these four areas. Secondly through an investigation of how popular images and the discourses of ‘child at risk’ and ‘dangerous child’ have changed since 1945, this paper illustrates that the dominant representation of childhood has been deeply linked to political agendas. That is to say, until the mid-1970s both ‘the child at risk’ and ‘the dangerous child’ had been depicted. as children who needed protection/correction by the state, and consequently reflected promotion of welfare state policy and the dominance of government service over the people. Since the mid-1980s several new political factors have attacked the protection/correction policy. The children's rights movement and postmodernists have begun to proclaim that children had been discriminated against by adults under the needless protection/correction system. In addition, the New Right has portrayed young offenders as evil, and fiercely attacked the protection/correction system of the past. To conclude, sociologists of education who try to study children in contemporary society need to apply multiple perspectives in order to examines the four areas concerning the question if and why children have changed these several decades. Moreover, sociologists must pay attention to contemporary political debates which redefine the notions of childhood and adult-child relationships.
In Japanese the word “kodomo” has two meanings, one is child (vs. adult) another is offspring (vs. parent). As a result, a gap has formed. between the sociology ofeducation which deals with children and sociology of family which deals with theparent-child relations. G.W.F.Hegel and Takaaki Yoshimoto discussed the prototype of modern child rearing as a coincidence of the period of childhood and “offspring hoods”. They stressed that parent-child relations disappear when offspring become adult. Thus, these are two traits of modern parentchild relationships. One is that parents have to find meaning child rearing because parents cannot expect financial compensation for their efforts. The major motivation of child rearing for parents in modern society is “love”. However, love-relation between parents and children are incomplete because only parents feel love. That is the other characteristic of modern child rearing. But, because parents's love is incomplete they could believe in the presence of love. Modern society can be divided into the public sphere and private sphere (family), and the adult sphere and child sphere. In modern prototype quadrands B & C (figure 1) did not exist. So children were restricted into the D quadrands. Recently because of longevity, the B quadrand has been appearing and also because of ‘schoolization’, the C quadrand has been appearing. The enlargement of the BC quadrand causes crisis in the meaning of child rearing for parents. In order to feel conviction in the presence of love relationship with children, parents need the evaluation by adult offspring and public evaluator (such as school). Therefore, parents have come to question why they must rear their children.
Children and adolescents who live in contemporary Japanese society are surrounded by media equipment. As a result, a large amount of information is available to them. The purpose of this article is to attempt to understand the interrelationship between a media environment, and the bodies of children and adolescents. I focus on three aspects of this interrelationship, as follows: First, I investigate the current state of media environment progress and the background of human relations. In particular, I examine the significance of the change from pseudo environment concept to media environment concept, and from sender-receiver diagram to editor-reader diagram, as well as the transition in the quality of social norms as a result of weakening connections among people due to the diffusion of media environment. Secondly, my research focuses on the relation of the discussions, on the topics of “media bashing” and “media advocacy”. After examining the situation in which both criticism and protection of the media become complicated in discussions of the cause of social events, I discuss the aspects overlooked by the discussions of “media bashing” and “media advocacy”. Finally, I indicate the transformation of body sense by the form and content of media. I investigate this transformation through television and video game as “visual culture”, through music and telephone as “ear culture”. The body is considered a sign and a sense organ in itself. Contemporary children and adolescents grow up immersed in a media environment rather than an environment of nature or human relations. In conclusion, I indicate the necessity of a third theory concerning the relationship of human-media, and not merely human-nature and humanhuman.
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.
Children are relative newcomers as subjects of study in the social sciences, and have only become the subjects of intensive research in Japan during the past several decades. In this paper, I review the extensive literature on children in Japan and summarize the recent trends, problems and tasks for researchers. It is very difficult to classify the varieties of research on children, because some researchers have used quantitative methodologies while others have used qualitative methodologies. However, in reviewing the research, I identified four main topics in the research on children as follows: (1) historical studies on the changing concept of children under the influence of Aries; (2) documents on real children living in a world very different from that of adults'; (3) ethnographical studies of school children and methodological problems; (4) sub-cultures and play behavior of children under the strong influence of multi-media. Research on children can be found in such diverse fields as sociology, psychology, psychiatry, cultural anthropology, pedagogy, and studies of sub-cultural play behavior and media behavior, and large quantities of information in each specific field of child research have been accumulated. Therefore, it is the time to integrate a very wide diversity of researches into an interdisciplinary system of child research, especially for the purpose of promoting children's well-being. The main issue is whether or not we can understand throughly real child as a whole.
In 1996, the Board of Education of the Town of Hokkai (an assumed name for a city in Hokkaido) issued a new version of supplementary readers for 3rd and 4th grade elementary school social studies classes. The sections regarding Ainu people in this text greatly differ from past versions and are progressive from the viewpoint of multicultural education. What made this possible? From interviews with the person in charge of both compilation of and negotiations for these new supplementary readers, and a member of the Ainu Language circle, it became clear that the codes of the negotiators had made the inclusion of such progressive statements possible. The Ainu Language circle participated in these textbook revisions as a result of their offering advice to the Board of Education on the content of sections on Ainu history and culture. The negotiator who works for the Board of Education used the follow ing code of approach in formulating the statement: to respect the regulations of the superior organizations; to respect the description of historical facts recognized by historians as true as long as they are not deemed harmful to the pupils' intellectual growth; to take the contents of the supplementary readers of other cities into account. The other negotiator, a member of the Ainu Language circle, had an entirely different code, but one aspect of his code (flexible negotiation), as well as the uncertainty of the situation, enabled them to find common ground. The Monbusho (the Ministry of Education) had not indicated any selection criteria for the descriptions of the history, culture and general situation of Ainu. Also, the Hokkaido Board of Education had not prohibited descriptions of the conflicts between the Ainu and the Wajin (Ainu term for Japanes) and the hardships experienced by Ainu, which were caused by Wajin and the Japanese government. Some of the other cities have already included these contents in their supplementary readers. Therefore, their codes and the situation described above made the negotiations between them successful and resulted in a new version of the text which conveys a possibility to cultivate a progressive and sympathetic attitude of pupils towards Ainu culture and history.
Tuition and fees of Japanese private universities have increased faster than consumer prices. This means that the costs of higher education have become a heavier burden on the household budget. Despite this fact, there is very little research in Japan on the tuition and fees of private universities. This paper aims to reveal the actual situation and the determinants of tuition and fees of private universities in Japan, through comparison with the tuition and fees of colleges and universities in the United States, and private high schools in Japan. It is well-known that tuition and fees of Japanese private universities differ significantly depending on the faculty. In addition, we can see that tuition and fees can vary even among faculties in the same area of study. To analyze what causes tuition and fees to differ among such faculties, I used data obtained from the faculties of economics, business, commerce, and engineering of private universities in the Tokyo area. Analysis indicates that universities with better conditions and higher selectivity tend to have lower tuition and fees. This tendency, which is particularly notable at private universities in Japan, is different from private colleges and universities in the United States and private high schools in Tokyo. The factors behind the odd phenomenon in which universities with better conditions and higher selectivity have lower tuition and fees can be explained in terms of supply and demand. Nevertheless, we should also consider that the market of higher education is segmented according to selectivity, and as a result, tuition and fees of universities which are less selective are increasing. The increase in tuition and fees of universities which are less selective may seriously affect household budgets in the process of universalization of higher education.
This paper is an ethnographic study on the teaching practice of an elementary school teacher. Teacher's activities in the classroom are analyzed as strategies which are ways of achieving a variety of goals such as survival, classroom control and so on. In this paper, I analyze strategies used to achieve teacher's pedagogical goals, which I call them “pedagogical strategies.” One of these strategies is teacher's behavior, or more specifically, how the te acher situated himself in relation to the students in order to achieve his pedagogical goals. My informant's pedagogical goals are to create his ideal classroom setting and to understand his pupils. His behavior for achieving these goals in the classroom takes various forms. In my research, I identify five kinds of teacher behavior. The first kind is where the teacher acts as if he is the same as the pupils. The second kind is where the teacher leaves classroom activities up to the students. The third kind is where the teacher disciplines pupils. However this kind of behavior is prevented by a certain dilemma and is left incomplete. The fourth kind is where the teacher coordinates the interests and demands of the pupils or of the teacher and pupils. Through this behavior, the teacher leads pupils to mutual agreement on the content and enactment of classroom activities. The last kind is where the teacher guides pupils in classroom activities. Here, the teacher presents students with activities that are required by the educational institution rather than by teacher or pupil demands. These results suggest that if the teacher tends to avoid stating his demands, teacher-pupil relationship does not have to be oppositional. If we take into account the physical, mental and institutional distinctions between teacher and pupils, teacher-pupil relationship is oppositional. However, by using institutional advantage, the teacher tries to avoid an oppositional relationship between himself and pupils and to behave as if he is equal with the students.
Is it possible to realize multiculturalism, especially corporate pluralism? Is it possible to achieve social integration through multicultural education? First this study tries to show that China's multiculturalism is located in corporate pluralism through a macro-level case study. Then, on the micro-level, using survey data from the questionnaires given to Tibetan junior high school students, this study analyzes the influence of bilingual education on the social identities of students. In this case, bilingual education is viewed as the key factor of multicultural education based in corporate pluralism. Conclusions derived from this study are summarized as follows: a) For those who have been taught in the Chinese language from elementary school through junior high school, a tendency of assimilation has been observed. They seem to have little awareness of their ethnic heritage, and have more contact with others outside their ethnic group; b) Those who have been taught in both their ethnic language and the Chinese language displayed consciousness of their ethnic identity as well as positive attitudes toward others outside their ethnic group. I identify these students as integrative types; c) The students who have received education only in their ethnic language demonstrate strong ethnic identities and reject interaction with students outside their ethnic group. This paper reveals that multiculturalism has different some influences on increasing assimilation, leading-to isolation and achieving integration along with different bilingual educational styles. Accordingly, the success or failure of multiculturalism depends on the different bilingual educational styles. From the findings, it is helpful in seeking for the coexistence of national cultures as well as in improving the social integration if the languages used in schools are adjusted according to different school-levels. Namely, in doing so, it will be possible to realize corporate pluralism which has been regarded as impossible up to now.
These days there seems to be a “qualification fad” with the publication of many books that encourage the obtainment of occupational qualifications and the trend in which university students attend vocational training school in addition to their university courses in order to get qualifications. In Japan, it has been shown that there has been different access to social resources depending on socioeconomic status or educational career.Then does the obtainment of occupational qualifications result in the successful attainment of social status? If they do, in which strata does this occur? Or do these qualifications have no effect on one's social status? Using data from the 1995 SSM Survey, this paper investigates whether occupational qualifications increase an individual's chances of acquiring social resources, such as income and occupational prestige. Independent of the factors of academic career or socioeconomic status, some analyses suggest that these qualifications are profitable for women but not for men. This is partly because of the difference in jobs available to men and women. Although it is taken for granted that men should work, women have limited opportunities to get jobs. This difference between men and women also occurs due to the nature of the qualifications themselves. In other words, some of the qualifications are necessary for continuing to work in some “male-dominated” occupations, and thus, such qualifications do not have any effect on one's income or social status.
This paper attempts to analyze and explain the stigmatization of children that in a children's home. In particular, I focus on the feelings that stigmatized children have about themselves and about their relationships with children who do not live in the institution. To understand these feelings, I examined children's discussions of their lives, and in particular, the use and significance of certain vocabulary they used to describe their lives. The following are results of my research. (1) Stigmatized children view their stigma as retribution from their parent (s). (2) In society, people are categorized, and the members of each category consider their own attributes as ordinary and normal. (3) Stress management and information management are important in helping stigmatized children avoid unreasonable treatment. (4) Stigmatized children think that their perspective is the same as other children and do not differentiate themselves from others. However, they and people around them define them as being different, which causes these children to strive for “normalcy”. Thus, this line of thought produces the irony that the more “normal” they hope to be, the more they stigmatize themselves in their minds. These children do not identify themselves as living at an orphanage, and instead attempt to manage information about themselves when talking with others. It is most significant that although children view achieving “normalcy” as a kind of panacea for solving their problems, this “normalcy”, in fact, can never serve as the means of solution.