Educational science is criticized for its ineffectiveness in treating actual problemsthat occur in schools or other educational settings. This situation shouldprompt researchers to conduct intensive investigations from a so-called “clinical” perspective. This article discusses the issue of how educational sociologistscan contribute to this project. Because educational sociology has recently cometo be seen as constituting a major part of educational sciences in Japan, it shouldbear some responsibilities for this discussion. First, this paper discusses the definition of the concept of “clinical” in thefield of educational sociology. Some educational sociologists have offereddefinitions different from those of clinical psychologists, who hold hegemonicpositions in the “clinical” sciences of education. It is contended here that theword “clinical” should be used in order to deal with more problematic matters, and a proposal is made that the main task of clinical educational sociology is torelativize our commonsense understanding of problems from a constructionistperspective, in order to find novel solutions. Secondly, the paper examines the stance that the field of educationalsociology should take toward the “clinical” mode in educational sciences. Inparticular, the field must consider how to interpret and treat the phenomenonwhere many people are interested in their “inner selves.” It is suggested thatalthough sociologists criticize this trend, it should be accepted principally as oneof the characteristic aspects of the postmodern era. Third, an examination is made of the methodological issues of clinicaleducational sociology. If “clinical” is defined from a constructionist framework, educational sociologists are involved in reconstructing the discourse of peoplewho suffer from serious problems. If researchers want to contribute to theresearch field directly, it is possible to adopt the method of action research.When applying this method, there is a need to examine carefully the researcher'srelationship to the field.
In considering the issue of “the contribution of the sociology of education todealing with educational problems, ” the author evaluates various researchoutcomes from the perspective of how they help to meet the practical demandsof society for the clarification and management of educational problems, ratherthan from the traditional perspective of their contributions to scholarly developments.The products of the sociologists of education belonging to the Japan Society of Educational Sociology, therefore, are analyzed within the followingframe of reference:(1) the social conditions under which the educational problemsare raised, and the social needs to be responded to, (2) researches conductedby sociologists of education and their consequences in social context, and (3) theevaluation and positioning of these researchers from the standpoint of educationaladministrators. Adopting an overview of the “social” contribution of the sociology ofeducation, the author finds that there are two periods in Japan's postwar historywhen researchers attempted to deal with the problems of education in remarkableways. Both of these movements were initiated by the mass media. The firstwas the proposal for educational pathology, as advocated by leading educationalsociologists such as Shigeo Kono, Sachiko Kikuchi, and Michiya Shimbori, attime, from the latter half of the 1960s, when many problems of education, suchas the overemphasis on intellectual development, testing, cram schools, dropouts, and youth delinquency, arose in the context of the excessive focus onpreparation for entrance examinations. Bullying and school refusal (the recent term in Japan is “school nonattendance”) both emerged as social issues in the middle of the 1980s, when themedia reported on several cases of children committing suicide after sufferingfrom bullying at school, and when it was reported on television that bullyingsometimes is a cause of school refusal. Some sociologists of education, such asYouji Morita and Mitsuru Taki, endeavored to investigate the actual conditionof those problems and to clarify the background of the phenomena, utilizingquestionnaire research. After demonstrating the results of their researches, Morita and Taki had been given opportunities and funds from the JapaneseMinistry of Education to continue their research, and they have contributed toproposals and the formulation of the educational policies as members of governmentadvisory committees.
This paper examines the importance of ethnography using the theory of constructionism, especially toward the understanding and improvement of educationalproblems. Conventionally, ethnography involved the researcher understandinga fact subjectively, and the method of applying an analytic diagram andunderstanding. Both methods adopted the ontological perspective of observationand investigation. However, researchers can learn facts interpreted by thepeople of a community and through the stories that they retell. This method iscalled the ethnography of constructionism. The characteristic of this method isthat it is not concerned over whether something is a fact or not, but rather triesto grasp correctly what people of the local place tell. In other words, theinvestigation is the ethnography of a tale, and since the aim of investigation isto discover facts, the task becomes understanding a tale. The researcher is apartner in a dialog, and the research serves as the practice of the dialog. Is there no method to employ such ethnography effectively? Until now, research following the principle of construction has analyzed public discourseusing public records. However, the ethnography of trouble has recently beenpresented. Trouble indicates problems for the people of the local place, or thingsthat are topics for them. For example, students and teachers understand thatthere are problems in schools today. How do they cope with these troubles inschool education? When teachers and students are interviewed, their understandingsdiffer depending on their positions. In particular, it is easy for those inpositions of power to spread understanding on educational problems in a waythat are beneficial to them. While those with a strong position can express a strong dominant narrativewhich creates trust in people, the narrative of those in a weak position is rarelyheard by many people. The former is a dominant narrative and the latter is analternative narrative. This relation is called the politics of a narrative. The taskof the researcher is to listen carefully to the tale of those in a weak position, compile the tale, and transmit it to many people through a report. In this way, the researcher adjusts the dynamics of the narrative. This perspective ofresearch practice is called “polyvocality.” As a case study, the features of the narrative of a dropout student and otherstudents are analyzed, and compared with those of the teacher's narrative. Suchresearch uses the ethnography of constructionism and is considered to be a “clinical method”.
In recent years, the work and responsibilities of teachers have grown larger.However, support systems for teachers are not necessarily adequate at present.This makes the burden on teachers all the heavier. In this paper, an examinationis made of the type of support that the sociology of education can offer toteachers, from a clinical viewpoint. In the new sociology of education, the classroom is the object of research, and the agent and his actions are the objects of observation. However, in the end, this stance alienates the sociology of education from schools, teachers, andstudents. The sociology of education has become a stranger to schools, teachers, and students. However, this “stranger” relationship is dissolving by a paradigm shiftthrough “clinical knowledge, ” and the possibility of support through a newrelationship is being generated. This indicates a shift from subject of observationto subject of participation. Currently, the core problems facing teachers involve school building andreforming. All the problems confronting teachers must be grasped as a continuationof these tasks. When the sociology of education structures support forteachers from its own inherent perspective, subjective participation in schoolplanning is one model. Every aspect of school planning, such as evaluation, school councilors, and organizational reform, can be an occasion for collaborationbetween teachers and the sociology of education, and teachers can receivesupport through this collaboration.
The purpose of this paper is to critically examine psycho-clinical guidance in thecontext of issues such as bullying and school non-attendance, and to consider theeffectiveness of the sociology of education for supporting students facing suchproblems. This study focuses on the problem of bullying. The author sets fivelevels for examining support for students in trouble, as follows. On the level ofthe individual, it is argued that the introduction of the school counselor aims toprovide support for students in trouble, but that a sociological perspective isrequired. On the level of personal relations and small groups, it is pointed outthat a student undergoing bullying in a subordinate position is in danger from asecret peer group, and may require emergency measures, such as a shelter. Onthe level of public groups, such as the classroom, it is argued that schoolcounselors and teachers cannot successfully deal with strategic grouping amongthe weak and the subtleties of bullying; consequently, the school system must bereformed through a process of trial and error. At the community level, theproblem of a closed society and the need to incorporate a sociological perspectiveinto support networks is cited. On the level of overall society, it is arguedthat more deliberate definitions and detailed knowledge of bullying still needs tobe pursued. On school non-attendance, the author argues that the creation of abetter learning environment and a career-planning system is important forschool non-attenders. Furthermore, it is argued that “Kokoro no Note” (Notesof the Heart) by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technologyare very problematical and need to be improved in order to expandstudent's insight into modern society. To cope with bullying and school nonattendance, support should be provided through both short-term urgent measuresand long-term developmental measures at all levels.
The aim of this paper is to provide an outline of the clinical sociology ofeducation, with the aim of solving educational problems and to think about theeffectiveness of “elonging” for problems involving children. The author takesup children's problems as one example of educational problems, from theviewpoint of the clinical sociology of education. In recent years, many difficult educational problems have arisen, and thesociology of education needs to carry out useful studies for solving these problem.Consequently, the clinical sociology of education has attracted the attentionof many researchers. This is because it aims to actually solve educationalproblems in a different from the sociology of education, which aims to acquirescientific knowledge. The sociology of education focuses on science, while theclinical sociology of education places weight on practice. Therefore researchfrom the perspective of the clinical sociology of education should be useful forsolving actual educational problems. The defining characteristic of the methodology of the clinical sociology ofeducation is intervention in actual educational problems. It attempts to solveactual educational problems through interventions. Therefore, the author arguesthat it is necessary to limit the object of the clinical sociology of education tofields where the scientist and practitioner can actually intervene. In other words, the field of the clinical sociology of education should be limited to the dimensionsof interpersonal relations and groups. This means that the clinical sociology ofeducation takes the individual in social context as the unit of analysis. There are various patterns of problem behavior among children. Whateverform it takes, however, negative self-definition is a common feature. Therefore, such children always suffer from undefined anxieties about themselves. Childrenadopt problem behavior as means to escape from these anxieties. Children mustredefine themselves in order to overcome such problem behavior. The negativeself-definition of the child is changed into an active, affirmative one. That is theintervention of the researcher and practitioner. Here, it is “belonging” that prompts the beginning of the child's self redefinition. “Belonging” means a gathering of similar children. Therefore, itindicates a place where the child can feel at ease, relaxed, free and can becomecalm. Therefore, (1) “belonging” acts as a self-help group and (2) “belonging” refers to a place where children can speak freely. Therefore, it is a clinical placewhere the researcher and practitioner can actually intervene. Children redefinethemselves in the place where they belong, and can experience selfreconfirmationand rediscovery. This self-redefinition is the solution to children's problems, and it is the goalof the clinical sociology of education.
This paper attempts to outline and discuss the role of the educational sociologist, by re-examining the author's own ethnographic study on newcomer children in Japanese public schools. It also tries to understand the process of “clinical” studies, focusing on the relationship between the field and the academic realm ofeducational sociology. The “field” is primarily a research object for the researcher. However, ethnographic studies in general assume that the text needs to be checked by theinformants on the field. The informants, i. e. the field members, have become the “audience” of the research in this process. For the researcher, obtaining an audience on the field may indicate that theresearch is soon to end. However, for the audiences, it is the time to begin newpractice. At this stage, the researcher needs to make the difficult decision ofwhether to leave the field or not. In this case, the author chose to remain in thefield and took the role of “reburying” the research results as an educationalsociologist. As a consequence of this entire process, the study contributed tochanging practice in the field, and newcomer children have come to be supportedas “having special needs.” As practice in the field begins to change, the researcher comes to feel thatthe real end of the research is arriving. For the second time, the researcher facesthe question of whether to leave the field or not. In this case, the author shiftedher focus to the relationship between newcomer children and school achievement, which has been a pending issue in the field. This research led to the author's taking on the new role of offering researchresults as a resource for practice, and consequently to feel the need to researchthe problem as an educational sociologist. In other words, there is a need tointroduce to the field the research results that have been accumulated in therealm of educational sociology. From her experiences obtained from the ethnographic study, the authorconcludes that the significance of “clinical” studies is to address a differentaspect of the issue. Field members and educational sociologists need to collaborateto make the best use of research findings for that purpose.
The aim of this paper is to show that commercial parenting magazines incontemporary Japanese society posses the potential for creating differentiationamong the agents of parenting and the distribution of discourses on parenting, based on the theory on the structuring of pedagogic discourse elaborated by Basil Bernstein. The objects for analysis in this paper are articles in major commercialmagazines on parenting. In the 1970s, two major magazines, Baby-Age andWatashi no Akachan appeared, mainly based on academic discourse. The twomajor magazines gained their readership from a specific stratum that identifiedthemselves with the discourses representing modernised parenting agents andpractices. They greatly increased their circulation into the 1990s. However, after the 1990s, under the influence of a new type of magazines, the two magazines that had held a major status in the market lost ground to anew type of magazine represented by Hiyoko Club. The articles in the new typeof magazine used the discourses of parenting agents in everyday life. Why did this transformation of discourses in parenting magazines occur? One of the factors behind the change was the rapid expansion of women goingon to higher education since the 1960s. With the increase of access to academicdiscourses among women, in Bernstein's words, the pedagogic device was transformed.Through the change in power relationships between social groups, theboundary between sacred knowledge and profane (distributive rules) shifted, andthe parenting magazine as fields of pedagogic recontextualizing gained room forrelocating the local voices of parenting agents (recontextualizing rules). Hence, we find parenting practices based on horizontal social relationships and discoursesthat emphasize sympathy among parenting agents (evaluative rules). Parenting magazines after the 1990s turned into new devices for differentiationamong parenting agents and the distribution of discourses. Parentingmagazines as new devices had some potential: Firstly, by creating the horizontaland synchronic social relationships between parenting agents. Secondly, throughthe regulation of access from parenting agents who had an orientation towardmeanings which can be constructed with elaborated codes.
During the prewar period in Wakayama city, there were threegirl's high schools (koto-jogakko): a prefectural school (called “Wa-ko-jo”), a municipal school anda private school. Wa-ko-jo had the highest prestige among the three. Thepurpose of this paper is to clarify the process and factorsthrough which Wa-ko-jo was recognized as a “prestige school, ” by analyzing articles from “Asahi Newspaper, ” focusing on “school image.” The main findings can be summarized as follows.(1) In the early Taisho Erathere were only a few newspaper articles. People didn't feel much interest ingirls' high schools. But from the middle of the Taisho Era to the early Showa Era, the number of articles about Wa-ko-jo increased more than the others.Moreover, in articles describing sports, music and other media events, studentsand graduates of Wa-ko-jo were conspicuous as stars.(2) Through the wholeperiod, there were many articles on the entrance examinations for secondaryschools. In many cases, only the principal of Wa-ko-jo wasquoted about themethod and meaning of entrance examinations. Therefore, it was generallyrecognized that the rank of Wa-ko-jo was higher than the others.(3) In thispaper, the lessons and events that symbolize difference between the three schoolsare called the “symbolic curriculum”; they related to the social classes of thestudents and characterized each school culture. These schools had differentimages of ryosaikenbo (“good wife, wise mother”) according to the “symboliccurriculum.”(4) The articles about Wa-ko-jo described a life course model forwomen based on the modernistic gender role expected by the central government.They indicated a process through the central idea wasmaterialized in alocal city.
A significant body of literature has questioned the effectiveness of education inequalizing society. In addition, certain developed countries, such as the U. K. andthe U. S. A., have begun to emphasize efficiency over equality and, consequently, to apply market mechanisms to their education systems, as has Japan since themid-1980s, despite its reputation for a centralized and standardized educationpolicy. It is far from impossible, however, to justify the public provision ofeducation. Therefore, this paper attempts to demonstrate the benefits of publiceducation from the perspective of “education as a public good” instead of “education as a private good” which is often the goal of researchers aiming at “equality of educational opportunity.” For this purpose, the following threeproblems are considered in this paper. Firstly, the author describes the tendency to regard education as a privategood, or an opportunity for an individual to acquire credentials, as a limitationon equalizing society. This is because the price mechanism under which privategoods are provided does not guarantee the equality of outcome, and depends oncircumstantial value judgments in a society, namely whether or not a privategood is supplied by the government. Secondly, when defining education as a public good, public provision in turncan be justified by its characteristic as a good. Education is determined to be apublic good because it supplies the knowledge and people which support ourmodern lives and systems. However, the current education policy is shaking the foundation of “educationas a public good.” Hence finally, the author examines the substantialproblems accompanying the new standard of achievement in public schools, using qualitative data collected from members of the upper social strata who hadtheir children exit the public school system and enter private schools. It isdiscovered that not only has the legitimacy of the knowledge been declined, butalso an exclusion mechanism (hurting children's self-respect, which is defined byRawls as the most important primary good), caused by its evaluation systemwhich covers various aspects of personality, has taken place in public schools.These findings suggest that in order to prevent exclusion, knowledge as a publicgood must be characterized as follows: it must be standardized, stable and ableto overcome the negative effect of instability and short-term vision humanbeings often acquire. Even though education policy has fewer practical effects on the finalprovision of goods than other welfare state policies, it has become clear that ithas an important role to play in supplying the knowledge needed to executeother policies. We accordingly have to place education in the broader context ofequalizing society. In concrete terms, in addition to the inequality between socialgroups in providing “education as a private good, ” the individual hardship ofbeing excluded from “education as a public good” should be taken as a socialproblem.
Recently, many people have come to categorize “drugs” as deviance or a socialproblem. “Drugs” have been categorized in the public “drug” discourse by therhetoric of endangerment, unreason, and with “atrocity tales.” On the otherhand, how is the “drug” discourse concerned with the interpretive activities ofdrug users, which are carried out locally? This paper discusses the relationship between the public “drug” discourseand the interpretive activities carried out in locally-managed interactive practicesby the members. Specifically, using category-analyzed ethnography, thispaper describes the process through which magic mushrooms have been categorizedas a non- “drug” in the members' interactive practice: “what are magicmushrooms?” Therefore this paper argues about the type of interpretiveresources that the public discourse has used in the process. The following conclusions are reached:(1) Through the interaction betweenthe people who consider the ingestion of magic mushrooms to be a “criminal act” or “drug” use, and those who dislike the former, users have categorized magicmushrooms as non- “drug” by using categories such as “legal” and “natural.”(2) In everyday discourse, by placing more importance on their experiences than onthe public discourse, the users use the public discourse and “atrocity tales” asinterpretive resources in order to categorize.(3) Although the categories of “natural” versus “chemical” entails the risk of being disproved, this possibility, which might have shaken the beliefs and local knowledge, has been moved asideby resolve and self-preservation work, using explanations such as these werecases when magic mushrooms were used improperly. Finally, the author cites the methodological possibility of category-analyzedethnography. For example, there is a lengthy discussion of the experiences of agroup of magic mushroom users showing how the “drug” discourse combineswith members' folklore into “local cultures.” Further arguments are needed byconducting various fieldwork focusing on the everyday discourse of users.
This paper examines the changes of “childhood” by analyzing the “childhood” image of children themselves, as they appear in junior high school “Student Council Magazines” from 1956 to 1985. The existing image of “childhood” can beexplained as follows: Children are distinguished from adults and, at the sametime, are connected to them as adults of the future. Since the 80s, however, therehas been a growing recognition that modern-day children have departed fromthe above image; some people have even pronounced the “disappearance ofchildhood.” However, this statement seems to go beyond the reality of children, since children still regard themselves as different from adults. This paper begins by following the changes in the meanings that childrengave to their age in relation to adults. Until the 60s, the meanings were withinthe existing image; distinction from and connection to adults. However, fromaround 1970, the image of the connection became weak, while the image thatchildren are distinguished from adults became strong. Second, the paper follows the changes in the way children perceive theirown peer group. From the beginning, the group was seen as monolithic, withvalues that were different from those of adults. From around 1970, however, thedistinction became so natural for children that they have been unconscious of it, and have come to consider their group as being in an autonomous world. Through these examinations, it is concluded that the new “childhood” hasbecome a kind of closed category, because it lacks the connection to adults.Living such a “childhood” is not only more attractive but also more repressivethan earlier. Although the existing image has missed this new “childhood, ” thereis a need to grasp and depict it properly.
A “boom” among upper-middle-class families of sending their girls to junior highschool began after the establishment of an education law for girls' junior highschools in 1899. During this boom, a considerable number of female students lefttheir schools before graduation. This paper presents further research on thisphenomenon. The factors that caused female students to leave high school before graduation are analyzed using the data(school register) of students at Ishikawa Prefectural Daiichi Girls Middle High School. The school register listsstudents who left school before graduation and who came to the school fromother schools. Below are some of the concrete points that were found. 1. The students were classified by class background(such as nobility, samurai, and commoner), hometowns and parents' occupations, and analysis wasconducted on the reason they left their high schools before graduation. Theanswers were divided into insufficient family income, lack of family interest ineducation, low academic grades, and evaluation of school behavior, for eachfamily class. It is discovered that for each of the major classes, behavior evaluations wereresponsible for the greatest number of female students leaving high school early.This implies that they withdrew early due to their inability to adapt to theschool's policy of conduct and behavior, leading them to give up on their studies.In other words, their withdrawals were caused by the relationship between thestudents and school regulations, teachers and classmates. 2. The behaviors or habits that the schools evaluated as improper wereanalyzed to look at differences in student adjustments among family classes. Itwas discovered that the needlework course was an important factor in connectingschool lives to family lives. It also allowed the students to validate their ownideas of education in their families and to reconfirm their identities. At that time, perspectives on education varied among family classes. Samuraifamilies and typical new middle-class families placed heavy emphasis onstudies and education. The students from these families found the needleworkcourse discouraging, and it made them feel insecure about their abilities in theirschool lives. Students from commoner families, whose families mainly ranbusinesses in commerce and industry, possessed a cultural ethos that placed anemphasis on home economics, as well as education. For these students, theneedlework course was meaningful in helping them to adapt to their school lives.They had the greatest adaptability in dealing with school life.
This paper examines whether the coping behaviors of bullied children canprovide effective alternatives to bullying. In addition, the coping behaviors ofbullied children are considered to be attempts to modify the stigmatic labelsgiven by gangs of bullies. The subjects are 625 pupils in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade. The findings are asfollows:(1) The majority of bullied children take actions to cope with bullyingin some way, such as consulting with others or trying to solve things themselves.This result suggests that bullied children are not simply nonresistant and passiveexistence to bullying.(2) There is a close relationship between the copingbehaviors of bullied children and the reasons why the bullying ends. This resultsuggests that the coping behaviors of bullied children can become an opportunityfor putting an end to bullying.(3) The number of supporters of bullying and thekinds of bullying affect the duration of bullying, but the coping behaviors ofbullied children do not affect the period of bullying. The coping behaviors of bullied children can become an opportunity to endbullying, but do not contribute to an early solution to bullying. These resultsshow that even if bullied children attempt to modify the stigmatic labels givenby gangs of bullies, the success or failure is not decided by their coping behaviorsbut rather by the reaction to these coping behaviors of the children in the areasurrounding the bullying. This paper reconfirmed the importance of providing instruction to childrenin the area surrounding the bullying.
Focusing on the rigorous selective educational system of Singapore, this paperaims to paint a profile of the ‘losers’ produced by the system and elucidate therole of the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) where ‘losers’ are enrolled. Based on survey data gathered from students studying at ITE and elitesattending Junior Colleges, this study first illustrates the facts that there is a lackof mobility between different tracks in Singapore's educational system, and thatthe influence of social classes on education exists even in meritocratic Singapore.Nonetheless, it is shown that despite the lower social classes and academicachievements of the ‘losers, ’ not only does their aspiration rise upon admissioninto ITE, but the average time they spend on studies is comparable to that of theelites. This study further demonstrates that the notion of being given a secondchance and the ability to see the prospects for a future job determine the averagestudy hours of the ‘losers.’ It is thus concluded that there is a strong possibilitythat ITE functions as a rewarming-up apparatus. Possible factors contributingto the rise of aspirations among the ‘losers, ’ including the efforts put in by ITE, are discussed at the end of the paper. Singapore's educational system is unique in that while the selection processmay be rigorous, even the ‘losers’ perform well in international comparativestudies on academic ability. Furthermore, it fits neither the European model ofsponsored mobility nor the US-Japan model of contest mobility. Hence, byunraveling the process of how ‘losers’ adapt to failure in a competitive systemsuch as Singapore's, this study hopes to bring fresh viewpoints to existingtheories concerning educational selection process as well as ‘losers’ in the fieldof Sociology of Education.
The increasing number of part-time jobs creates logical contradictions for thecurrent framework of employment management. This paper points out thesecontradictions, referring to three types of employment management. The theoretical framework of employment management is not suited to thephenomenon of increasing employment of atypical workers. Some authorsexplain it through an explanation of deskilled worker, while others cannotprovide an explanation in spite of focusing on the phenomenon. Past researchbegins from the assumption that workers, who strive to gain greater skills andachieve excellent results, aim to acquire good occupational positions, such as, for example, full-time workers. This is why the theoretical framework cannotexplain this phenomenon. The purpose of this paper is to describe mechanisms of occupational abilitycreation for workers in part-time jobs. This study examines the management ofemployees in convenience stores, in order to clarify the management strategy.The paper is based on interviews of employers of convenience stores. Part-timeworkers' careers are not generally linked to good occupational positions, buttheir skill levels still rise. How can employers achieve such a situation? Thefollowing findings were made. Employers understand that their employees donot like to be in competition with each other to raise their position in thecompany. Employers are confronted with an ambiguous situation. They simultaneouslywant to improve their workers skill level and encourage their workersto work hard together. This is a desirable method for them. However, if theypublicly announce performance ratings for all employees, it is likely that manyemployees will quit. To deal with this ambiguity, employers only show theperformance ratings to the individual worker, and use bonds of membershipbetween employer and employee to probe their working conditions. Employersuse these strategies to maintain and develop their companies. Using bonds of membership between employer and employee individually isa key concept in explaining the mechanism of management of part-timeworkers. This is most important finding of this research, and this finding couldbe useful in discussing the development of part-time workers.
The purpose of this study is to clarify changes in the image of desirable characteristicsfor new university graduate hirees after the collapse of bubble economyand the growth of the university enrolment rate in Japan during the 1990s. Thehypothesis is explored that Japanese companies have changed their recruitmentpolicy away from emphasizing future training potential and toward adaptableimmediate fighting potential. For the analysis, articles from job-placementmagazines for recruitment in 1991 and 2001 are used. Words and phrases arecollected from the company recruiters' comments on the focus for hiring newgraduates. Then, a check is carried out to look at changes in the frequency of top36 items. Finally, an analysis is conducted of the combination-pattern of top 12items, using Hayashi's Statistical Method III. The major findings are as follows.(1) The most frequent five items in bothyears tend to show activeness. “Individuality” ranks high only in 1991, and “Autonomy” in 2001. There was a significant rise in items showing practicalability, and a decrease in items showing personality.(2) Analyzing the top 12items using Hayashi's Statistical Method III, two dimensions of the image ofdesirable new employees, “Appearance vs. Performance” and “Intention tomake the company active vs. Intention to develop the company, ” are found.Using the 1991 data, the items are categorized into four groups: “Cheerfulness, ” Innovative Action, “Aspiration to Achieve” and “Spiritual Strength.” For the2001 data, they are categorized into three groups, removing “Spiritual Strength.” The shift of “Autonomy” from the group “Aspiration to Achieve” to the group “Innovative Action” suggests that companies have placed increasing importanceon the results of new employees' autonomous action compared to the process inwhich they set up and attain targets.(3) Analyzing the arrangements of averagecase scores by company size and type of business, it is suggested that thebusiness condition of companies affects the image of desirable new employees. These results show that Japanese companies considered activeness as theessential element for new employees during the 1990s. However, the optionalelements have changed from “Individuality”, personality and processes to “Autonomy”, practical ability and results. Companies may have given up ontraining young employees due to their strained business conditions. In conclusion, this study reveals that the image of desirable characteristics of newgraduates changed from “objects of training” to “subjects who act autonomously”
The purpose of this article is to reconsider gender identity formation in youngchildren by analyzing their interactions during children's activities. In the literatureon “gender and education” studies in educational sociology, the assumptions of “internalization” and “gender dichotomy” are generally considered to beapplicable to studies on early childhood; however it is the position of this paperthat these assumptions need to be reconsidered. This study focuses on gender-related power relations among young children.Observational research on preschool children was conducted at a private kindergartenin the Chugoku district of Japan, from September 1998 to March 1999.Eighty-two preschool children (age 3-5 years) were observed in the kindergarten.Additional observations were conducted at the same kindergarten and twoadditional childcare centers in the Kyushu district of Japan from 2000 to 2001. A gender dichotomy was found in the following aspects of children's interaction: (1) Children thought that stereotypical tastes were also greatly genderdifferentiated (for example many boys preferred the color blue and TV cartoonheroes, while many girls preferred the color red and ‘cute’ characters, e. g.‘Kitty-chan’). In addition, when the children reenacted heterosexual ritual behavior (e. g. weddings), they adhered to gender specific roles. (2) Children actively negotiated with each other in terms of gender. They alsoevaluated appropriate behavior according to gender standards. Furthermore, they constructed a social order using gender, displaying “hegemonic masculinity.” (3) Girls crossed gender-defined behavior more easily than did boys. Based on these findings, it was concluded that children actively participatein their own gender identity formation, in addition to being socialized into theseroles. The process of gender identity formation involves negotiation with thesocial world, and is influenced by the mass media.