Yano and Hamanaka have analyzed recent trends in the ratio of advancement to higher education in Japan, and concluded that the increased financial burden on households has been a blocking factor in recent years. They argue that a public policy for reducing the financial burden is needed, and that if such a policy is implemented, it will lead to increased advancement to higher education. As methodology they adopt a time-series multi regression of Japan as a single unit, using several economic variables such as starting salary of high school graduates, household income, unemployment rate and tuition fees. In this paper, the author uses a similar time-series multi regression, but broken down into 47 prefectures, and with the addition of variables describing the educational system such as student capacity in metropolitan areas and in local prefectures. From this analysis, the author finds that economic factors do not have a significant effect on the advancement ratio, and that educational system variables have a greater influence in determining the advancement ratio. In contrast to Yano and Hamanaka, the author argues that the negative attitude toward advancement to higher education in recent years lies not outside of the educational system, but rather inside of the system of higher education. Curricular innovation to provide more relevant content is the key to attracting more students to higher education. In an age where more than 50% of youngsters advance to higher education, enriching teaching content is a more important task than providing financial support. Researchers on higher education should pay greater attention to the educational system itself rather than factors outside of the system.
With the universalization of high school education, problems such as bullying, delinquency and other behavior have manifested themselves in high schools. A number of studies aimed at understanding these phenomena and identifying the causes have been conducted, but there are few experimental studies regarding high school dropouts and this area has not been studied systematically. Most of the studies conducted in this area have focused on high schools themselves or the educational system, concluding that dropping out is caused by academic failure or non-adaptation to school. Dropping out is, of course, a phenomenon that cannot arise without schools, so there is a certain validity to seeking the causes in schools. However, it seems necessary to include other factors such as changes in the social conditions surrounding high school students. Existing studies on high school dropouts seem to lack this perspective.
In the United States, where high school dropouts have been well researched, the mechanism behind dropping out has been discussed, focusing not only on school education but also on the labor market and the shifts within it. Taking this as the research trend, it is necessary to discuss the impact on the dropout phenomenon of changes in the Japanese labor market for high school graduates. The author believes that further study from this perspective will add new knowledge to the study of dropouts in Japan.
The aim of this study is to grasp the mechanisms generating dropouts in Japan, taking the shift in the labor market for high school graduates into consideration. More precisely, it examines the correlation between the acceptance of becoming a part-time job hopper -free-ter- among high school students and the actual act of dropping out with the shift in the labor market as background.
The research concludes that dropouts from the first year of high school were not influenced by the acceptance of becoming a free-ter, as typified by responses such as “I want to be a free-ter”or “I donʼt mind being a free-ter.” however for dropouts from the second year, the acceptance of becoming a free-ter did have an effect. This can be interpreted as meaning that in the first year, students do not yet have a clear career path and even if they have favorable views on being a free-ter, it does not necessarily lead to the act of dropping out. However as the years progress and career options become clearer, a free-ter orientation can lead to the actual act of dropping out. It has rarely been pointed out so far, but the mechanism that generates dropouts may differ from grade to grade. These findings pose challenges surrounding the study of the phenomenon of high school dropout.
This paper analyses the discourse on Japanese composition writing education (tsuzuri-kata) in the pre-war period and attempts to elucidate the development of the autopoietic educational system along with the rise and changes of the concept of “children.”
The discourse on writing education provides an image of the way of second order observation on childrenʼs observation in a Luhmannian sense: (1) What were the unique characteristics of children, which separated them from adults? (2) How should adults, as socializing agents, be caring for children?
The findings are as follows: Beginning around 1900, the concept of “children” as something different from adults, but who were in the process of becoming adults, was discovered, along with an image of adults providing care for children. The “nature” and “life world” of children was discovered first, followed by the finding of the childrenʼs “interior,” especially the “childlike” interior. Finally, in the 1920s, the ability of children to “see” and “feel” things beyond the assumptions of adults was discovered. There, new practices arose, in which socializing agents demanded that children see and reflect themselves by writing, and through that, came to be “ideal children” and “future adults”.
In relation to this phenomenon, N. Luhmann suggests, in his educational system theory, that the relationship between childrenʼs observations and socializing agentsʼ second order observations enables education to become an autopoietic system. Now that we have seen the details, we can refine it. By seeing “children” and their interior as half black-box and half guidable, education was able to become autopoietic. Moreover, since the system was developed, greater freedom for children and ambivalence between childrenʼs freedom and educational intentions were repeatedly discovered within the educational discourse.
Interest in social capital has grown recently among researchers both in Japan and around the world. It is “bridging social capital” that attracts particular attention today. Minorities tend to be portrayed as people who are denied such social capital.
The author argues that it is important to examine the kind of social capital which is generated and utilized in networks developed by minorities themselves. This paper focuses on the “Burakumin,” the largest minority population in Japan. Discriminated-against Buraku communities have benefited during the past half century from specific government legislation realized through the efforts of the Buraku liberation movement, as well as various Buraku improvement measures. On the other hand, however, new difficulties have developed recently such as the stagnation of the liberation movement, widening disparities in income and academic achievement within Buraku communities, and the abolition of relevant laws. In this context, we can analyze the impact of environmental changes on social capital and the formation of social networks based on it over time.
This paper clearly reveals that there is dilemma between the assumption of homogeneity and the formation of minority networks. It also reveals that class-based disparities can be observed within the network and that the qualitative change of benefits influences the formation of networks. “Bonding social capital” is by no means uniform. We run the risk of overlooking diversity and disparity within the network if we emphasize homogeneity. In addition, the “positive” and “negative” aspects of social capital are not static, but change variously based on influences such as “being valued by people outside of the network” and “qualitative changes over time.” This paper examines these dynamic aspects that are specific to the social networks developed by minorities.
This paper focuses on “bonding social capital” within minority networks. In the case of social networks formed with the aim of achieving “liberation” from oppression, it is indispensable to build effective relationships with entitie soutside the network. Therefore, an important future task for the author is to maintain a good balance between “bridging social capital” and “bonding social capital,” upon which minority networks rely heavily.
The purpose of this paper is to examine who enters senmon gakko (Japanese vocational schools), how they use this education, and how this usage has changed over time.
The senmon gakko has not been fully explored as an object of academic concern, since it possesses an amorphous nature derived from the separation of its legal position (as an institution of post-secondary education) and its practical position (as an institution of higher education).
Preceding studies have made conflicting arguments regarding what kind of high school students enter senmon gakko. There have been two different positions. The first is the higher educational model, which sees the senmon gakko as an institution of higher education and presumes that the entrants belong to a similar stratum as their counterparts in university or junior college. The second is the post-secondary educational mode l, which regards the senmon gakko as an institution of post-secondary education and underlines its uniqueness.
Today, the senmon gakko is often discussed in educational policies and academic discussions as if it were one of the institutions of higher education. Historically, however, senmon gakko were set up as less prestigious institutions of post-secondary education, beginning in 1976, and were long disparaged because of this.
In other words, the position of the senmon gakko has changed from post-secondary education to higher education, and this change is emphasized in this paper. Some indices indicate that the turning point took place in 1990.
In consideration of this, the author established the hypothesis that the change in the position of the senmon gakko reflects alterations in the students. This hypothesis is examined by applying a multinomial logistic regression analysis and other methods to the JGSS data set. The results suggest that the hypothesis is adopted.
Until the 1990s, the senmon gakko was the unique route for high school graduates from the self-employed and similar strata to attain blue-collar or lower-level white-collar jobs as an initial career. So it can be said that the senmon gakko provided a relatively profitable path.
Since the 1990s, however, with the increase in students from the lower white-collar class, senmon gakko students have become similar to university students in terms of social class. Now they are clearly different from high school graduates in their origins. However, from a comparison of entrance (family background and school records) with exit (initial jobs), the senmon gakko provides a smaller pay-out than it did before the 1990s.
These findings demonstrate that the change in the users and usages of senmon gakko show a process through which post-secondary education is reorganized into higher education.
The Japanese General Social Surveys (JGSS) are designed and carried out at the Institute of Regional Studies at Osaka University of Commerce in collaboration with the Institute of Social Science at the University of Tokyo under the direction of Ichiro TANIOKA, Michio NITTA, Hiroki SATO and Noriko IWAI with Project Manager Minae OSAWA. The project is financially assisted by a Gakujutsu Frontier Grant from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology for the 1999-2003 academic years, and the data sets are compiled and distributed by the SSJ Data Archive, Information Center for Social Science Research on Japan, Institute of Social Science, the University of Tokyo.
What significance did people give to “entering university from local areas” in Japan in the period following the Second World War? And how have their views changed in the time since? To answer these questions, this paper focuses on the “advanced course” of Tottori prefectural senior-high schools, using the methods of political-sociology.
The “advanced course” of Tottori prefectural senior-high schools is sometimes called a “publicly funded cram school.” The teachers of the prefectural schools give instruction to students who are preparing for a new chance to enter university after failing the first time. In the period around 1960, there were still no private cram schools in Tottori Pref., but the number of students hoping for a second chance to enter university was rapidly increasing. In response, teachers at one prefectural senior-high school began to give them instruction on a volunteer basis, and a few years later, the Board of Education institutionalized it as the “advanced course.” This system was spread within the prefecture by the Board. Judging from this analysis, it may be said that the Governor, administrators and teachers recognized the disadvantageous condition of the local prefecture, and devised a policy to train talented youth as a means to overcome the backwardness of their home region.
However, a debate on whether the “advanced course” of prefectural senior-high schools should be maintained or not began in Tottori Pref. about 2005. Private cram schools asked for the abolition of the “advanced course,” because the social changes since 1990s had hurt their business. As a result, this demand became a focus of public policy in the prefectural assembly. The groups on both sides of the issue disagreed fundamentally on whether the course should be maintained or abolished, but agreed in regarding the “advanced course” as a device for meeting the “needs of individuals.” With the massification of university education, the existence of the “external effect,” meaning the social profit brought about by higher education, has come into question. In addition, the “needs of society,” meaning the survival of the local prefecture, is not recognized within the policy of the modern “non-profit-sharing” model. In comparison with the “supplementary courses” established by PTAs, which perform a similar function in senior high schools of other prefectures, people do not feel a justification to spend public money on Tottori prefecture’s “advanced courses.”
This leads to the hypothesis that the significance of “entrance into university from local areas” changes with the movement in perspective from social profit to personal profit. This means that the circuit between “education” and “society/economy” has been severed. Hence, the nurturing and outflow of talented youth from local prefectures is no longer seen as the main issue. However, local prefectures have been seriously affected by recent changes in both the industrial structure and decentralization. Now is the time to rebuild the tripartite affinity between “education,” “society/economy” and “local areas.”
Researchers seem to agree unanimously on the unreliability of official statistics on futoko children (school refusers), making it difficult to uncover the social factors behind the phenomenon. Though many researchers have questioned whether the official statistics can explain the reality of futoko, there has been no verification of the reliability and validity of the statistics. The aim of this study is to examine this issue and formulate an alternative plan for statistics.
To achieve this aim, the author used the “School Basic Survey” from 1966 to 2006 and examined futoko rates within the “Long absentee” data from 47 prefectures, which is divided into subclasses by the following reasons: “Illness,” “Economic reason,” “Futoko” and “Others.” The actual differences between areas were then analyzed using a five-number summary.
As a result, the two following facts were clarified. Firstly, it is impossible to compare the data on “Futoko,” “Illness” and “Others” between prefectures because of differences in the investigation methods. From the beginning, the classification standards differ from prefecture to prefecture, and this leads to local differences. Secondly, the method for sorting data was changed in 1998, comparisons across time periods invalid.
In conclusion, the author recommends using data on “Long absentees” as a measure for the futoko phenomenon because the official statistics on futoko have already lost validity. Statistics on long absentees are much better than those on futoko to show the reality of the phenomenon.
Finally, the author discusses both the advantages and disadvantages of using data on “Long absentees,” confirms the existence of differences among regions at the prefectural level for long absentees, and considers future prospects and tasks.
This study explores how schoolgirls in the Meiji era (1868-1912), who were the first generation of girls to attend school, associated themselves with their alma maters after graduation, and what networks they developed with their former teachers and classmates. More specifically, the report examines whether their circles of close friends characterizing schoolgirl culture were maintained and expanded after graduation or whether their real lives and social positions specified their networks after graduation. The paper looks at Saibi Kai (Saibi Society), the alumni association of Ishikawa Prefectural Daiichi Girlsʼ Middle High School, and examines how the Meiji-era alumnae were involved in the alumni association networks from the Taisho (1912-1926) to the prewar Showa period (1926-1989), by analyzing the “news on members” column in the alumni bulletin. The results clarified the following points:
1. In examining the development of class reunion networks during the first half of the Taisho period, this study focused on the differences in profiles between members whose up-to-date information appeared in the column and those whose information did not, and used this to extract some characteristics of the networks. This examination shows that membersʼ involvement in the network was largely affected by residence in Kanazawa City (regional factor), their locality, and good academic achievement during their school days, and not by such factors as their social status under the old system and legal domiciles in the family registry. The members also retained their connections through formal exchanges such as class reunions and sports meetings, rather than through such informal means as letters and postcards. In other words, they formed a network where information on members was exchanged through activities in Kanazawa City, the location of the school, [m1] which functioned as the center of the network.
2. The author also analyzed the profile s of members who had taken leadership in formal activities and members who had developed strong connections through informal gatherings. The analysis shows that many of the husbands of such members enjoyed prestigious social statuses, as high-ranking military officials, bureaucrats, university professors, and so on, and that the first generation of schoolgirls enjoyed rich, privileged lives.