The purpose of this paper is to examine actual educational practices in Japan inrelation to the field of sociology of education. This study will attempt to analyze whether the field of sociology of education contributes positively to actualeducational practice in Japan, and if so, in what way. In the first part of this paper, I will examine the work that has already been done on the problems related to this topic. The main points of this study paper may be summarized as follows:(1) First, it is necessary that we study the educational practices so as to identify the sociology of education as a separate field from sociology;(2) the two fields seem to be separated from educational realities in Japanese society;(3) the educational sociologist is expected to deconstruct strictly the process in which an “educational problem” is generally recognized as a “social problem”; and lastly, (4) the relation between the sociology of education and pedagogy is still ambiguous, that reseach findings do not contribute to influencing the educational practices in Japan in positive way. In my conclusion, I propose the three points so as to increase the “actuality” of the field of sociology of education. They are the following: (1) It is necessary that we make an effort to establish a new creative relation between the field of sociology of education and pedagogy at both the group and individual level. One example at group level are scholars such as Prof. H. Fujita, Prof. M. Satou, Prof. Y. Saeki, all of whom are professers at Tokyo University. E. Durkheim, who is the author of “The Theory of Moral Education”, is an example of the individual. (2) The studies in ethnomethodology are effective in deepening young educational sociologst's understanding of the educational realities in Japan. (3) I will attempt to show a good model of the lecture in the field by taking the example of the educational sociolgist, a faculty member in the college of education, who tries to use every possible device for increasing the “awareness” of the sociology of education as a separate academic discipline.
The raison d'etre of educational sociology as a separate field/disciplinehad been said to rest primarily in its scientific approach to the study of education. After the 1980's, the criticism against the external cognitive method prevailing in the modern learning increased. In particular, criticism by postmodernists and structuralists posed significant questions about the raison d'etre of the field of sociology. In response to such questions, various theories such as interpretive approaches have been postulated in the field of sociology of education. In a positive sense, they view educational sociology as a science of criticizing modern times. The impetus behind the popularity of fields such as educational discours, cultural reproduction theories, constructivism, is largely due to the studies conducted by J. Meyer, M. Foucault, P. Aries, P. Bourdieu, J-F.Lyotard. In addition, the importance of historical studies has increased considerably in recent years. Such studies are indispensable for the understanding of the society of the modern era. However, there are not many study cases on these paradigms in Japan. From a social perspective, educational sociology which wasestablishedas a separate field in Japan after World War 11 has become central inthe greater field of education, and boasts a membership of 1, 250 scholars in Japan. Educational sociology stretches across the Social science fields of economics, politics, social history of education, and social psychology. Both old and new trends coexist in the current field of sociology of education.
This paper analyzes the characteristics of the field of educational sociology in Japan as a discipline. The Japanese Society of Educational Sociology was established in 1949 before the discipline had been fairly developed and widely recognized. This premature institutionalization was a result of the postwar educational reform in Japan. The independent departments or chairs of Educational Sociology were established and the subject was taught as an essential requirement for teacher training. Those people who directly involved with the establishment of this field had a policy to make educational sociology an independent field of study institutionally separate from sociology and other educational sciences. One important merit of this policy has been the resulting interdisciplinary nature of Educational Sociology, despite its rather late development as a separate field. As such a discipline, Japanese educational sociology is destined to have so-called academic “Gerschenkron effects”. Major efforts have been devoted to examine time and again the academic justifications of educational sociology, which studies almost all social phenomena that are related to schooling and socialization as viewed from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives such as those in the fields of sociology, economics, political science, psychology, and anthropology. As an interdisciplinary field, educational sociology and its scholars, at least in Japan, seems destined to rest on the periphery of the social sciences. As educational sociologists, our most promising strategy has been and will be to take so-called “guerrila warfare” tactics against the traditional and established fields of social and human sciences and to continue to adhere to the peripheral and marginal viewpoints.
The Association of Sociology of Education in Japan was established in 1950. In the fifty years since that time, membership in the association has grown to nearly 1, 300 members. In this paper, we attempt to analyze the process of the institutionalization of Sociology of Education in Japan. We will attempt to reinterpret the factors which contributed to the formation and integration of the researchers of Sociology of Education into one field of study, and examine the ensuing process of institutionalization up to the present day, taking into account a broader viewpoint of the context at each stage of the development. We will focus on certain aspects of the institutionalization process, such as the “association”, the “teacher-training course”, the “chair system in experimental course.” First, we examine the Association of Sociology of Education as a group emerging out of the Association of Education and the Association of Sociology. Next, we define typology of the foundation of the Association, its significance, its organization, and its social features, and attempt to analyze the issues that were present at the start of the Association and the surrounding factors which contributed to its institutionalization. We then trace the movements surrounding the establishment of teachertraining courses and the chair system in experimental course in and out of the Association to the present day. This later became the institutional basis of the development of the Association.
The Japan Society of Educational Sociology (JSES) commissioned a survey of the society's members as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of its founding. The Society is comprised' of three major age groups. The first group consists of members in their sixties, the second group in their forties, and the thirdgroup in their thirties.Thirties. The JSES is a professional organization forthe exchange of knowledge and intellectual discourse. However, it should be noted that some generation gap may exist due to the dramatic change in the composition of the membership in recent years. There has been a significant increase in membership in the JSES in recent years. In fact, membership almost tripled after attempts were made to control JSES by making Educational Sociology an experimental subject, and after the Japanese government instituted a requirement of completing courses in education before applying for a teaching license. While all three groups mentioned above are proud to be members of JSES, they have becomemembers of it for differing reasons. The group consisting of members in their sixties has long viewed JSES as a forum for the presentation of scientific studiesas well as the exchange of scientific information on the subject. The youngergroup, characterized by the high rate of women and postbaccal aureate degrees, view JSES as a forum for the exchange of critical thinking, to question the usefulness of policy making and empirical considerations. Many of the members in thisgroup are graduates of Tokyo University, some are active teachers, graduate students and faculty members who handle non-teacher training courses. This contrastswith the middle aged male members who previously comprised the core of the JSES. There was concern about potential changes in the quantity of the publications by members during the past five years. Our survey indicates that each member published 0.99 books as author or co-author on an average, 1. 75 books as editoror contributor, and 5. 98 research papers. The survey shows the positive correlation between the quantity of the publications and the amount of research budget. Compared with other professional societies, the JSES members have been more active in their academic activities. Over the past five years each member has attended the annual meeting 2.6 times and made presentations 0.9 times on an average. The main concern of junior members of the JSES was shown to be on research presentations, while the one of the senior members on management of the society.
The nightmare experienced by Japanese students preparing for college entrance examinations is well-known throughout the world. Some economic analyses have attempted to explain why high school students compete so hard to enter colleges, as well as why elementary and junior high school students study diligently. Despite these analyses, much has yet to be clearly explained regarding this topic. This paper will attempt to clarify the following three points:(1) we examine whether time-series change of private internal rates of return for men's college education has influenced the variation in application rates since the 1980s;(2) we will show the time-series change of rates of return by level of education, size of company, and sector of employment since the 1970s; and (3) we compare ex ante rates of return for 1974 college entrants and their ex post rates of return. Our findings are as follows:(1) The time-series change of private rates of return for men's college education has influenced the variation in application rates positively.(2) Rates of return for average college graduates, and college graduates who work for large-sized companies and in finance have not changed since the 1980s. But rates of return for junior colleges graduates, college graduates who work for small-sized companies and in manufacturing have declined since the latter half of the 1970s.(3) Ex ante rates of return for men's college education do not differ from ex post rates of return very much. But Ex post rates of return for college graduates who work for large-sized companies and in financeare higher than ex ante rates of return. And ex post rates of return for junior college graduates, and college graduates who work for small-sized enterprise and in manufacturing are smaller than ex ante rates of return. Judging from these results, we think that competition to enter more competitive colleges will continue to be fierce, whereas it will be difficult for some less competitive colleges to attract high school students.
This paper aims to clarify the dynamic process in “ijime” situations, focusing on the practical role of bystanders in group dynamics. In “ijime” studies, bystanders have been identified as the key persons who influence the seriousness of the “ijime” situation. However, the practical effects of bystanders on the “ijime” situation isnot clear. Since the structure of an “ijime” group is presumed to be static, and the change of the “ijime” situation has been overlooked in previous studies. In this study, we attempt to show the different effects causedby the various roles bystanders play in the process of “ijime”. Through interviews conducted on 62 students at the university and high school level, we were able to classify their experiences inelementary school or in junior high school on the subject of “ijime”. There is a remarkable difference between the “ijime” situation in elementary school and in junior high school. Depending the role of the bystander in any given “ijime” situation, three patterns of “ijime” in elementary school and two patterns in junior high school were identified. These differences can be attributed to the varying attitude that bystanders have toward a particular “ijime” situation. In elementary school, bystanders act either as an audience or remain silent for personal safety reasons, thus allowing the “ijime” to attract more attention by adults. In junior high school, however, bystanders are no longer concerned with the role of “ijime” because they have lost interest in the “ijime” behavior. In this case, bystanders detract attention away from the “ijime” in such a way that the assailants behavior become more serious. Then the situation turns for the worst with the possibility that a victim will emerge. It is during the freshman and sophomore year in junior highschool that incidents of “ijime” can become most serious. This fact has been explained with the increase in the number of bystanders in previous studies.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the transformation of the process of choosing subjects in a “Sogo Sentaku-sei” High School. “Sogo Sentaku-sei” or “Sogo Gakka” senior high schools have attracted much attention in recent educational reform policies, since they are different from the conventional senior high-school system, by allowing students to make their own curriculum. However, recent studies have pointed out that these schools in fact restrict a students' capacity to choose their own subjects, thereby going against the purpose of this policy. In order to properly carry out highschool reformation policies today, the causes of this phenomenon must be analyzed. This paper will attempt to investigate how and why these schools have come to restrict the students' capacity to choose their own subjects, based on ethnographic research at “A High School”, one of the leading “Sogo Sentaku-sei” high schools in Japan. The results of the research are as follows: In the beginning, the teachers of A High School did not restrict students' choice of subjects. Eventually, however, restrictions were imposed because of the problem of time cards organization. Then a few years later, the teachers of the minor ‘gakukei’-which are loose courses-allowed students to select their own subjects because they wanted to give specialized lessons and to secure enough schooltime for them. Major ‘gakukei’ teachers who couldn't control the subjects which students would be taught because of the number of students demanded to increase the number of credits of the obligatory subjects. This demand was related to the problem of the school's overall reputation of sending students to universities. In this way, the students' ability to choose their own subjects was restricted by both of individual teachers' interests and the problem of the school as a whole. These results suggest that the problem of curriculum includes the problem of school management and that it is difficult to change the curriculum, by introducing alternative educational institutions, such as ‘Sogo Gakka’.
The Japanese technological colleges, founded in the period of economic growth, have supplied the labor market with many engineers through their specialized education with high occupational relevance. However, because of the high degree of occupational relevance, the relationship between education in technological colleges and the labor market has been influenced by postwar economic changes. This was especially the case during the period of economic depression in late 1970s, when the number of professional engineers decreased and the number of blue-collar workers increased in graduates of technological colleges. To the aggravation of employment, the technological colleges took adaptation strategies of exploring new labor markets in other related industrial areas and middle-size companies. As a result, the rate of graduates entering the field of professional engineering recovered in early 1980s. Nevertheless the departments of disciplines with low technical generality suffered more profoundly, since they had more difficulty in taking such adaptation strategies as changing areas of entry. Furthermore, the increment of entry into middle-size companies resulted in increasing orientation to local companies by new graduates. Although the rate of professional engineers recovered, the rate of entry into metropolitan, large-size companies did not. It seems that the technological colleges took the strategies of recovering the rate of professional engineers, which at the same time accompanied with double peripherization in company size and location. These changes in the labor market entry pattern also influenced the occupational attitude of graduates: those who, at the time of entry, gave preference for working conditions rather than the type of work itself increased. This suggests that they come to hold more instrumental attitude toward professional works. In these respects, the adaptation strategies of technological college brought qualitative changes to the education in themselves.
The purpose of this study is to examine how the same text, in this case, The Wolf and Seven Little Kidsby the Grimm Brothers, could be read and interpreted differently by children and mothers in Japan, Korea and China. Using this texts, a survey was conducted whereby a group of children and mothers were asked to express their impressions about the tale (e.g., their degree of the interest in the story, their impressions about the cruelty and the fear depicted in the story), the contents of tale (e.g., the most desirable character, the most interesting point, and the most fearful point), the opinions about the death of the wolf, and the interpretation of the tale. The results of the survey produced the following findings: 1. With the degree of value consciousness used as a cultural index, which is defined as awareness of moral values here, the more various the degree of value consciousness in a particular society is, the greater the difference is in the way both children and mothers read the text. For example, Japanese society has the most various value consciousness among the three countries mentioned above, and shows the biggest difference between the readings of children and mothers. In contrast, children and mothers in China have more similar value consciousness than the other two countries, therefore the degree of difference of readings in China is the smallest among the three countries. Some societies permit various interpretations depending on age, while other societies have a more common interpretation irrespective of age, thus making it clear that each individual society possesses their own particular framework of interpretation. 2. The fact that the interpretation of the text is affected by the value consciousness illustrates the relationship between the reading and the teaching of virtues such as honesty, reliance, compassion, in each country. On one hand, readers in Japan take strong objection to the death of the wolf and they cherish the mother's love for the children. On the other hand, Readers in Korea and China would agree to the death of wolf, extracting some lessons from the story and they would stress the need to take precautions against other evils or penalties for bad deeds. In addition, children and mothers in Korea emphasize obedience towards the parents and both children and mothers in China interpret this story as a means to express the importance of fostering child's development and independence.
One of the most salient characteristics of the experiences of children in recent years is their exposure to electronic media including TV, video games, and computers. Many people argue that such an environment might have lasting negative influences on children. But I think that the argument itself influences the electronic media to which children are exposed. In this paper, I will attempt to examine how opinions and statements as revealed in professional journals, newspapers and the theories of media education are socially constructed. The second and third sections of this paper describe a theoretical framework to which some of the important aspects of social concepts of media are related. I take the method of sociology of knowledge. Based on this framework, the second section analyzes the structure of statements made by that describe the manner which the electronic media (e.g., TV, video, and video games, etc.) influences children. In my research I have found several common characteristics of these structures throughout past fifty year postwar era in Japan. The statements always recognize the media to be ‘effective’ because of their ‘characteristics’. The fourth section of this report discusses the way in which ‘characteristics’ and ‘effect’ have changed during this time span despite the fact that the structure of statement have not changed. During the fifties and sixties, the electronic media existed within the dimensions of ‘reality’ and ‘imaginary’. Electronic media has since evolved in the eighties to include the aspect of ‘virtuality’. The last section argues possibility of other statements of the media. Usually in the statements made about education, the ‘virtual’ experience is thought of as being detached from the other experiences, that are ‘real’ or ‘imaginary’. The point that ‘real’ world experience itself, which includes the experiences brought about by electronic media encompasses the dimensions of ‘real’, ‘imaginary’ and ‘virtual’.