This paper aims to clarify what are crucial issues for contemporary sociology of education, referring to papers contributed from abroad to this Journal and reviewing recent contributions from Japanese researchers of sociology of education. The author found out following topics which are most frequently discussed by researchers in and out of Japan. “education in postmodern society”, “marketization of education”, “polarization in equalized society”, “self-responsibilityin postmodern society”, “education as tool for risk management”. Iwaki Hideo discusses a new type of meritocracy is appearing, “global meritocracy”. He argues that along with emerging web economy, symbol analysts are becoming a new main-stream workers, they are making career beyond boundary of nation state in contrast with traditional meritocracy which tries to make success within a country. HONDA Yuki draws up a chart of human abilities required in modern and post-modern society. According this chart, human capabilities required in post -modern society are composed with characteristics like diversity, originality, aggressiveness, creativity, positive mind, network-friendliness. As for the topic of marketization of education, the author pointed out from on-going discussion on pro and con of free choice at compulsory school by parents and students. Among Japanese sociologists of education, there are two groups, proponents and opponents concerning this issue. Opponents are afraid of distractive effect to community solidarity., because compulsory school is deeply embedded in neighborhood community, and has close tie with community. Against that, there are opinions which expect that school choice system encourages innovation at school base. In the part, “Education as tool for risk management”, which discusses mainly the education after 18 years old, a new concept of education is emerging. People consider themselves as an object of investment, and they make up self-made career plan of learning and earning. In unstable society of post-modern time, people consider education as a tool of risk management of their own life time career
In China, it is said that the changes of research paradigm in the field of sociology of education consists of three periods;-1949, foundation; 1949-1979, stagnation; 1979-, rehabilitation. In this article, the publications in the period of rehabilitation were reviewed related to the social change and the educational reform in China. Firstly, how the political and economic changes affected China's educational system was discussed. Secondly, the changes of research fields and methods of China's sociology of education after 1979 were explained. Thirdly, the two topics in the recent research publications were argued; “inequality of educational opportunity” and “education and social stratification”. At last, I argued the problems and futures of China's sociology of education.
The purpose of this study is to examine the feelings of “uneasiness” that have become the dominant image where we consider the issue of juvenile crime, and which became the driving force for the enactment of various ordinances. The material used for this examination is reports of the juvenile crimes in the pseudo-environment that mediates the holding of this image, that is, in the mass media. Concretely, the analysis and consideration were done based on reports on juvenile homicides in “Asahi Shimbun” in the postwar period. As a result, the following tendencies in recent years have been extracted as a symptom that people have come to feel uneasiness. 1) The number of juveniles arrested on charges of homicide in recent years is low compared with the peak in the 1950s and 1960s. However, newspaper reports on homicides have become much more numerous since 1997. This made people widely aware of crimes by “ordinary children, ” and it appears that this is related to the uneasiness people feel that they or their children might be victims of juvenile crime or that their child might become an assailant. 2) In recent years, the malicious nature and cruelty of assailants is often reported along with the tendency to focus on “psychological problems”(kokoro no yami) in the articles. As a result, assailants and their parents and teachers have been subjected to criticism that did not exist in the past. 3) From the same focus on “psychology, ” references to “child-rearing” and “educational methods” have been made from a professional viewpoint by specialists in psychology. As a result, everyday life, which was once selfevident, has come under questioning. Moreover, the usage of psychological terms in recent years has been used not only to label assailants as abnormal, but also to make parents and teachers reflexively think, “Is your child OK?” It was thought that the rise of uneasiness is related to these psychological references that destroy the self-evidence of everyday life of parents and teachers.
This article describes a practice in educational settings, which the author calls “type M” instruction, from the perspective of conversation analysis. The feature of this type is that a teacher asks students a question to which the students do not know the answer, but are not completely ignorant of the answer. When the teacher asks the students these questions, he or she creates a learning experience where “students search for a correct answer by themselves.” The paper examines this practice in three main stages. (1) First, data on real occurrences of type M instruction are shown. The data comes from a database of educational scenes recorded on a video for approximately seven hours, mainly from school education. From this database, the author intuitively collected examples where elementary school teachers were using type M instruction. Five examples of this type were extracted. (2) Second, characteristics common to the five scenes are extracted using the perspective of conversation analysis. Based on this, three characteristics, i. e., “reservation of instruction, ” “partial instruction” and “adjustment of degree of difficulty” were discovered in the turns of the teachers in those scenes. In other words, they displayed the following characteristics: “teachers do not teach students the correct answer, but provide hints to students” and “teachers lower the degree of difficulty of a question slowly while watching the reaction of students to the question.” (3) Third, the operation of type M instruction was inspected through an examination of irregular cases. The following knowledge was gained fromobservation of these data. If the degree of difficulty of the questions asked by the teacher is too low or too high given the state of knowledge of the students, it was found that type M did not operate effectively. With the three characteristics shown above, teachers seem to adjust the degree of difficulty of a question to a certain “level.” It is at this level that students carry out trial and error, and where they can barely give correct answers without assistance. When a teacher coordinates question at this level, students can try to find solutions to the problem independently. An important point for allowing type M instruction to operate successfully is to set the degree of difficulty of a question rather high and then lower it gradually while being attentive to the reactions of the students. This is because if the degree of difficulty is too low, the students will be able to answer it correctly immediately and there is no way to raise it, but if it is too high, there is an opportunity to lower the difficulty.
This article aims to clarify the position of graduates of private schools in the hierarchy of secondary school teachers and their self-images, by means of a case study involving graduates of Waseda University Higher Normal School (Waseda Daigaku Koto Shihanbu). Prior to World War II, a hierarchy existed among secondary school teachers, based on their educational backgrounds. Preceding studies have mainly focused on teachers who graduated from national schools (e. g., Imperial Universities and National Higher Normal Schools). Those studies clarified the fact that graduates from national schools were highly privileged among secondary school teachers. Graduates of private schools played an important role as teachers in secondary schools, especially in terms of their number. However, their stature and cultural background have not yet been examined in detail. This article focuses on their position and their self-images in comparison with teachers who graduated from Tokyo National Higher Normal School (Tokyo Koto Shihan Gakko, Tokyo Koshi). First, the author examines private schools that trained secondary school teachers and evaluates the career paths of the teachers. The result may be summarized as follows. The entrance exam of Waseda University Higher Normal School was not as competitive as that for Tokyo National Higher Normal School (a rate of 1-2 versus 5-17) and had fewer candidates. Private schools were regarded as undesir-able, and graduates from these schools had less successful careers than those from national schools. Graduates from Waseda usually remained at the secondary school level and only very rarely became teachers of higher education (in 1930, 2.1%). In contrast, graduates from Tokyo National Higher Normal School had better opportunities to become professors (in 1930, 9.8%). Furthermore, graduates from Waseda often taught in vocational secondary schools, which were considered inferior. The possibility of Waseda graduates becoming principals of secondary schools was also much lower than that of graduates from national schools. In 1930, only 2.3% of all teachers who graduated from Waseda were able to become principals (in the case of Tokyo Koshi, 17.9%). Moreover, the schools in which Waseda graduates did get such opportunities were newly founded and small in scale. In other words, they were not prestigious schools. Next, the author examines the self-image of Waseda graduates with respect to their position. The result may be summarized as follows. Waseda graduates perceived themselves as teachers with “autonomy and independence” or “freedom.” Although graduates from both Waseda and the National Higher Normal School were trained to be secondary school teachers, their statuses differed considerably. Therefore, it is presumed that in order to uplift their status and alleviate their dissatisfaction, Waseda graduates capitalized on the ideologies of Waseda (“autonomy and independence” and “freedom”) and strategically used it to improve their situation. 189
In modernizing Japan, people from rural districts came to occupy many important positions in government officials, elite professionals and employees of private corporations in the metropolitan areas (major cities). They are called “Moving Elites.” Considering that these “Moving Elites” moved away from their hometowns to live near their workplaces, the author decided to examine the types of social networks they established in the cities where they lived with people other than their classmates at school and colleagues at work. The paper aims to determine the method of communication used by the “Moving Elites” with others in different professions in the cities where they worked and the differences in methods of communication between people in their hometowns and those in the cities where they worked. Based on this question, this thesis focuses on the “Kaetsuno Association, ” which was established by people from Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures at the beginning of the Meiji Period and was active until the beginning of World War II. This thesis uses, as the target of analysis, people who graduated from junior high schools and high schools in the Meiji Period. The characteristics of the human networks of “Moving Elites” are examined, for both members and non-members of the association. The results are as follows. 1. The people who became members of the Kaetsuno Association were graduates from imperial universities and military related schools in education, who took jobs as military officers, teachers and government officials. On the other hand, graduates of private institutions of higher education, who worked in commerce, manufacturing industries and farming, had only a peripheral relationship to the association. 2. From a generational viewpoint, there was a tendency for individuals from the newer generation who graduated from junior high schools under the old education system at the end of Meiji Period to show little interest in joining the association compared to members of older generations. 3. Although members of the association actively discussed their hometowns and the characteristics of people from their home regions, the purpose of the discussions was not to unify people from the same districts, but to reveal anxieties concerning their identities in the cities, frustrations when their opportunities for promotion at work decreased, and even their communication problems with others. It is totally impossible to conclude that the association was able to create a situation that resembled the cultural unification of “upper groups of middle class people, ” despite the fact that they were originally from rural districts. Only the aspect of the isolation of “Moving Elites” stood out in the association.
The aim of this paper is to analyze how part-time evening high school students change the self-definitions which they have once constructed, and also to reconsider from a sociological perspective the educational significance of part-time high schools that contribute to this process of redefinition. This paper looks at part-time evening high schools, which have generally been overlooked in the recent reforms of high school education. These schools were established after World War II to serve young working people, based on the fundamental ideology of equal educational opportunities. They contributed to the universalization of high school education. However, in recent years the number of such schools has been decreasing. The students absorbed into those schools have been placed as the bottom of the credentialist hierarchy, and have been analyzed as such in sociological studies. However, part-time evening high schools are unique public educational institutions, organized primarily for a diverse variety of working students both in age and in career. Thus, it is very important to investigate the role they play as educational institutions for adolescents and what actual conditions they are in from a sociological perspective. This also leads to a reconsideration of educational reform. The paper draws the following conclusion: from the narrative of part-time evening high school about how they decided to make a new commitment to theirschools and society, it emerged that they use various resources in the process of re-defining themselves, such as the distribution of time, and identity based on schools, occupations and other human relationships. Information also acts as a resource for them. Therefore, this paper focuses on the organization of resources: time, information, and identity (Sandra Wallman, 1984). Moreover the results of the analysis confirm that after entrance into a part-time evening high school, students gain wider choices in their activities as organizing resources. This is peculiar to part-time evening high schools. Therefore, through their personalities, the motives and sense of value of their own social, educational environments is realized as this paper closely analyzes their narratives as a process of absorbing organizing resources. At the same time the following two aspects that exist in the institution of part-time evening high school are obtained. First, there is an opportunity for education to get new relations and knowledge. The second and more important finding is that there are possibilities for self re-definitions as unexpected consequences.(1) Many students gain experience working. This makes them to reconsider the “inside” of the school.(2) There is a process of “symbiosis” whic is un-artificial at school. Finally, students need the processes of self redefinitions through various interactions, from which for the first time they can shoulder their ‘self-decision’ and ‘self-responsibility’ subjectively. Through its examinations, this paper attempts to present one perspective for reconsidering educational reforms. Accordingly, it is necessary to continue to focus on this issue.
The recent tendency toward diversification of the educational policy among local governments makes research about the policymaking process important. In particular, Special Zones for Structural Reform (Kozo Kaikaku Tokku) stimulate municipal governments through deregulation. This paper analyzes the factors that lead to differences in educational policy output via Special Zones for Structural Reform. The authors focus on two respects that have not been sufficiently analyzed in prior studies on the educational policymaking process. The first is the relationship among actors. All prior research has reduced the unit of analysis to individual actors, but it has not reached conclusions on the puzzle of “who is the most influential.” The authors of the current study strategically avoid this problem by looking not at the behavior and attributes of individual actors, but at the relationships among actors such as school principals, mayors and local assemblies. The second is the institutional context. Municipal organizations (governments and educational boards) are nested in the institutions of prefectures, and this study explicitly assumes that the differences between the exogenous institutions of educational administration set up by prefectural governments lead to the diversification of the municipal policymaking process and policy output. The study examines the above two factors quantitatively. Bayesian methodsare used to analyze the population data of municipalities. The dependent variables are the introduction of new educational policies via the admission of Special Zones, and proposals for new educational policies. The following results are obtained by fitting the Bayesian hierarchical heteroskedastic binary probit model. As the size of the network among principals grows, communication among them becomes diluted, so it becomes more difficult to suggest and adopt new educational policies. The relationship between the mayor and members of the local assembly has a major impact at the stage where new educational policies are suggested. The larger the distance between the preferences of the mayor and the assembly members is, the smaller the likelihood that new educational policies will be suggested. In other words, the educational board-the agent of political actorshas autonomy when educational policy does not change at the mercy of political actors, and greater distance between the mayor and assembly members brings about a loss in the consistency of agenda setting by political actors. The institutional factors-rules governing personnel changes and the allocation of educational administration staff-are influential in proposals for new educational policies. Major personnel changes amplify the effect of the network size among principals, and end up diluting the density of communication and preserving the status quo in municipalities.
In Chinese society under economic reform, higher education has had an enormous impact on social mobility. As the demand for higher education continues to increase, in particular after China officially implemented the reform plan for the “expansion of the university enrollment” in 1999, the scale of higher education has grown rapidly. However, the reform plan has brought about two problems: educational inequality and low employment for some college graduates. Does the latter problem result from social stratum? More specifically, do students from lower income families suffer from a vicious cycle of inequity in both the educational and employment market? This paper looks at the effect of college undergraduates' social class, professional backgrond and performance on their future development after graduation. Adopting the methodology of logistic regression, thisstudy analyzes data-1, 040 samples from eight high schools in Shanghai, China -collected by the author from May to June 2004. In brief, the study reaches the following conclusions:(1) The factor of social class significantly affects not only a student's college attainment but also his/her future development, such as advanced studies, overseas studies, or employment. In other words, a higher income family offers greater possibilities to an undergraduate to access better education or jobs.(2) The factorof school ranking has less relevance while individual performance has a greater effect in determining future development. Inequity hinders social mobility. An undergraduate with a lower class background needs to make more efforts to receive a superior education at an elite school. As the new educational reform is implemented, it will lead to less social mobility for those from lower social strata.
The aim of this paper is to investigate when and how the meaning of high school diplomas changed during the era of educational expansion in two senses:(1) ubjective and (2) objective. More concretely, it examines:(1) how people recognized high school diplomas and (2) how high school diplomas functioned in the achievement of occupational and economic status. To examine these points, the authors focus on postwar Japan, when the high school enrollment rate rose dramatically under the new educational system. The data used in the analyses are Social Stratification and Social Mobility (SSM) data collected every ten years since 1955. Three cohorts, divided according to the high school enrollment rate, are compared. The high school enrollment rate is 50% to 65% among the first cohort, 66% to 89% for the second, and more than 90% for the third. The enrollment rate increased continuously during the first and second cohorts, so the former is named the “early phase” and the latter the “later phase.” The enrollment rate reaches a plateau in the third. “Desired educational level” and “desired occupation” are used in the analysis of subjective meaning. “Occupation of first job, ” “occupation of present job, ” and “present personal income” are used to clarify the meaning in an objective sense. The analysis of subjective meaning reveals the following. As the high schoolenrollment rate increased dramatically, the desired level of education rose with it. More people wanted to go on to higher level of education: high school and higher education. But the desired occupation of people who wanted to go to high school was almost the same for the early phase and later phase cohorts. However, the actual first jobs of high school graduates in the two cohorts were very different. Fewer people obtained white-collar jobs and more entered into blue-collar jobs in the latter cohort. Comparing present job and present personal income for each of the four data sets since 1965, the three cohorts can be characterized as follows. In the early phase, a relatively large number of people acquired white-collar jobs at an early stage of their occupational careers, and a substantive ratio maintained these jobs to 1995. In addition, personal income increased steadily as people of this cohort became older. On the other hand, a large number of people in the later phase cohort started working in blue-collar jobs. But as they got older, they seemed to move into different types of jobs. The personal income of this cohort increased dramatically in 1995. Therefore, it can be said that this cohort “caught up.” For the last cohort, however, there seemed to be little chance of upward mobility in either occupational or economic status. In sum, if only the function of high school diplomas is considered, the meaning of high school diplomas changed between the early and later phase. But if the “catching-up” of members of the later phase and the subjective meaning of high school diplomas is taken into account, there is little difference in how people recognize and value high school diplomas between first two cohorts. Therefore, a distinctive line can be drawn between the later phase and the next cohort (i. e., the plateau), when the premium of being a high school graduate diminished.
This paper examines trends in regional gaps in higher educational opportunities after the High Growth Period and the effects of structural factors. In the 1970s, educational policies were put in place with the aim to promote equal opportunity. Currently, regional gaps in higher educational opportunity are increasing. The purpose of this paper is to provide basic findings and knowledge on present conditions to contribute to the debate on educational opportunities. As an index of educational opportunity, we use capacity and college and university entrance rates. The findings are as follows:(1) in the 1975-1990 period, under the educational policy that aimed to spread education, gaps decreased in both indices of educational opportunity;(2) however, this decrease was the result of shrinking gaps in the three large metropolises of Tokyo Nagoya and Osaka, and educational opportunities were not necessarily expanding in the regions with the least educational opportunities;(3) after 1990, regional gaps began to increase again, due to rises in the three metropolises;(4) today, there are noticeable gaps not only among males but also among females by region;(5) the effects of socioeconomic conditions and school conditions on educational opportunities are increasing year by year. Today's regional inequalities are nearly equal to those in the 1970s when the educational policies were adopted, there is a possibility that equality of opportunities for education may become a political issue.
This article explores factors that affect rates of financial aid receipt among private institutions of higher education in Japan, with the aim to understand whether academically well-prepared and needy students are awarded financial aid in those institutions. Using a survey dataset of chief financial officers of Japanese private four-year colleges and universities, an ordered logistic regression analysis of the rates of institutional aid receipt including tuition waivers and a linear multiple regression analysis of the percentage of recipients of Japan Scholarship Foundation (JSF) Scholarship Loans were conducted. The regression results are as follows:(1) the rates of institutional aid receipt are related to the age of the institution and the selectivity of students, but not to regional income levels or tuition amounts. The percentage of aid awardees is also not related to instructional costs. In institutions where many students receive institutional aid, there are a significant number of students who borrow JSF Type I Scholarship Loans (Interest-Free Loans).(2) While the rate of JSF Type IScholarship Loan recipients is related to the historical background of the institution, selectivity of students, and regional income levels, there is no correlation between JSF Type I Loan recipient rates and tuition. The type of departmentsand schools in an institution is also not relevant to that figure.(3) While the rate of JSF Type II Scholarship Loan (Interest Bearing Loan) recipients is not related to the historical background of an institution, the selectivity of students, regional income levels, tuition, and instructional costs affect it. The percentage of JSF Type I Scholarship Loan awardees is positively correlated to that of JSF Type II Scholarship Loans.