“Character, ” the key term of this paper, has a double meaning in literary criticism: a dramatis personae in a story, and the dispositions of each person. Through the use of this term, this paper provides a sociological narrative study of characterization. In other words, it is an attempt to understand how we force certain characters upon the self and others when we want to comprehend them. Normally, “character, ” as a person's disposition, is attributed to the individual. From the standpoint of narrative studies, however, it is a construction which includes a story-line. In order to understand the characteristic nature of the self or of others who are the dramatis personae in our narrative landscapes, the method we usually employ is to organise the acts, events, impressions, information and put them into the form of a narrative. When we say, “it is rude of him, not only to go back home alone, but also to make an excuse, ” the subject is identified as such not because rudeness is his nature, but rather because his nature is, in fact, produced by that narrative description. Therefore, it can be said that characterization constitutes combining various kinds of elements and creating one's or other's nature by shaping a narrative. Characterization contains a connection not only to oneself but also refers to human relationships. In sharing a description about someone's character, we can have a conversation or interaction through talking about the topic. That is, the character, which has been constructed in the form of a narrative sequence, can construct another sequence of human interaction. In conclusion, characterization is the production of the self and others as having certain original qualities which we attribute to us or them in our narrative landscapes. This procedure of understanding and controlling people should become an object of study itself for the sociology of education, since education is one of the fields where characterization is legitimised. Examining the phenomenon could be of benefit to the critical study of education.
The purpose of this study is to examine the mechanisms of entrance selection procedures at private elementary schools in prewar Japan. Preceding studies have clarified the social classes of children at private elementary schools and the reasons why parents enrolled their children in such schools. However, some of these schools began to evaluate the increasing numbers of applicants through the criteria of entrance examinations. What this means is that not all applicants were able to enroll in these high-status private elementary schools. This paper focuses on the mechanisms and the function of entrance selections of private elementary schools. The second and third sections of the paper present an analysis of the selection process through which private elementary schools evaluated young children. The methods they used included mental tests, physical tests (e.g., dance), and interviews with parents. These kinds of selection assignments were described by B. Bernstein as the “invisible pedagogy.” In the fourth section, the paper demonstrates that children from the new middle class had advantages over other class children (e. g., children of the old middle class) in the selection system, and that there were conflicts among children of different segments of the new middle class. The fifth section addresses how children were prepared for the selection process. Parents had their children study at home or in kindergartens to enable them to acquire the necessary skills for the invisible selection assignments. In the sixth section, the paper clarifies that the use of entrance examinations put an end to admission through personal connections. Through this series of considerations, the following conclusions are drawn:(1) For the schools, ideal children were those who were intelligent in terms of high scores on tests;(2) The schools intended to subordinate private-elementary-school-oriented families by means of the selection system; and (3) As a result, they accepted children with similar backgrounds and abilities.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the structure of short-term higher education (SHE) and its relation to vocational education in China. Before examining the structure of SHE in China, the paper begins Classifying SHE from the viewpoint of international comparison. As the result the three types come up: vocational education, liberal education, and mixture type. After that, the features of each type are presented and evaluated. The paper then gives an overview of the process of the development of SHE in China, and examines its structure. Chinese SHE has taken the form of “short-cycle courses, ” a mixture type. Furthermore, the author investigates the background that higher vocational education began in the mid-1990s. The author finds four main reasons: 1) new demand for higher education among graduates of vocational-type high-schools has swelled, 2) the supply of higher education has changed, in particular, short-term higher education has expanded, 3) the structural problems have arisen in the educational system, 4) the economic structure has changed so rapidly that economic organizations (enterprises, etc.) have been eager to recruit people with high vocational skills. The paper shows once feature of Chinese higher vocational education is practicing through reformed pre-existing shot-term higher education institutions, and supplemented by several specialized second schools by policy of “internal development”, and main task of vocational type SHE of China is reform of its Curriculum. The last, the author sees that reform of its Curriculum confronts great difficulty on certain grounds economic quickly growing and structure and vocational structure changing in China.
Around 1920, the number of youth flowing into the labor markets in large cities grew to excessive levels. This led to the emergence of a social problem, the “youth labor problem.” It involved excessive mobility of youth and “blind-alley” workers. The situation was exacerbated by the collapse of traditional apprenticeship. The Youth Employment Service, established in 1925, was devised to deal with this newly developing phenomenon. The purpose of this paper is to examine how social institutions for working youth (kinro seishonen) related to the image of them. The paper begins by examining how job changes among youth were connected with the problem of delinquency. The traditional apprenticeship system was once considered the best system for the training and treatment of youth workers. The increase of wage labor, however, transformed the relationship between boss and apprentice. This meant that the apprenticeship system collapsed, and that youth were discarded from the social order. Social reformers felt that without apprenticeships, youth threatened the social order. Thus job changes and delinquency emerged as a social problem. The paper then illustrates the plan designed by social reformers to solve the problem. They worked out a plan for the extension of Vocational Guidance. This meant that the protection of the Youth Employment Service extended into the workplaces of youth. This was considered Aftercare for youth workers. This protective net was meant to apply particularly to urban youth who lacked social networks. Third, the paper finds that the Youth Employment Service recognized “adolescence” as a term connoting instability and immaturity. Based on the psychology of adolescence, the Service distinguished youth workers from adult workers. Fourth, the paper analyzes the double meanings of Aftercare. This system made it possible to see and control the structure of life of youth at work. It was an act of educational protection for youth workers. The Service transformed them into new subjectsfor social welfare. But on the other hand, it was an act of control over them. They wereforced to subordinate themselves to the orders of the system. In conclusion, a new social order for youth was derived from the process of making the systems of Aftercare in the Youth Employment Service. The system created new images of youth at work, namely universal youth as the subject of education.
This paper reexamines Basil Bernstein's Power and Control Theory from a gender perspective. Bernstein's theoretical framework is known for its sophistication and difficulty. Theories such as the code theory, cultural reproduction, invisible pedagogy and pedagogic discourse focus on the distribution of power and principle of control in social relationships. These issues are closely linked to gender, but very few studies have been conducted in Japan examining Bernstein's theory from a gender perspective. The purpose of this paper is not just to reexamine his “legacy, ” but to attain new theoretical developments for present and future gender studies. This paper begins by tracing Bernstein's theoretical development over four decades. The concept of gender code developed by Madeleine Arnot in the 1980s is also reconsidered. Arnot said that the idea of gender code related to the concept of “male hegemony.” Male hegemony deals with the acceptance of the hierarchy of male over female. Moreover, the gender code is constructed by the categorization between masculinity and femininity. In addition, this paper examines Joan W. Scott's gender theory which focuses on the relations between gender and power. Based on these frameworks, this paper redefines Gender Classification and Gender Framing. Gender Classification can be made through gender categorization, which creates gender differentiation and power relations based on everyday activities. Gender Framing is considered as a form of hidden control in a gendered society. It makes people give their consent to a hierarchical gender order. Through these theoretical considerations, the gender code can be described as a device of symbolic realization of social principle supplemented by the vehicles of Gender Classification and Gender Framing. Finally, this paper proposes a conceptual framework for understanding the process of symbolic transmission of gender relations in society.