It has often been argued that the East Asian understanding of happiness differs from that of Western societies because Asian societies tend to be more collectivist, while Western societies put a premium on individualism, and that, therefore, happiness in both cultures is difficult to compare. One way of investigating to what extent Western and East Asian societies differ with regard to happiness-related cognitions, evaluations and emotions is to examine lay theories of happiness. This paper reports on a survey about happiness carried out among Japanese and German students. Based on the results of the questionnaire and a Semantic Differential about 幸福な人 and glücklicher Mensch we describe the structure of beliefs about the causes of happiness and well-being. The findings show that there are both communalities and differences some of which are consistent with the notion of Japan as a more collectivist society than Germany, while others call for a different interpretation. The Japanese and German notions of happiness are similar but not identical.
In many countries, organizations dedicated to socially engaged media making have pioneered local broadcasting, distribution systems for non-commercial print media, multi-lingual media, what is now called user-generated media, “narrow-casting”, and citizen's participation in media policy. However, almost everywhere in the world, policies have systematically distorted the mediascape in favour of governmental and commercial media. Media made by and for citizens continue to struggle for funding channels, legality, autonomous means of production and distribution, and against the commercial/governmental enclosures of creative resources. This article, at the intersection of political science and media studies, investigates how civil society engages in media policy. Specifically, it analyzes the democratic media activist movement in Japan in the 2008- 2010 organizing phase. What was the opportunity structure? What resources were available? What achievements were aimed at? Were they achieved? And what other, perhaps unintended outcomes? What does that tell us about the specific challenges of democratic media activism in Japan, and what can be taken from that for other contexts? The methods are qualitative, including a review of the literature on the media reform and civil society media movements and participatory observation in one of the main networks for media reform. The lack of progress on issues for civil society media, it is argued, can partly be explained by the poor political opportunity structure, but also by poor movement resources.
The aim of this study is to elucidate the reality of the world of architects, which has rarely been focused on in a sociological research. Given that architect as a career does not have any official authorization, and that they are always confronted by the difficulty of their own positioning in between the binary opposition of art and technology, it is obvious that they cannot be analyzed by a single perspective. In other words, the analysis in this respect needs a more dynamic approach. Thus, this paper tries to introduce the concept of ‘field’ defined by Pierre Bourdieu as a theoretical framework to grasp this dynamics and describe the ‘field of architecture’. Then, it attempts to position architect as someone struggling to pursue the essence of architecture in this field. As a case study, it will focus on Kengo Kuma (1954-), one of the most famous architects in Japan. To do so, this study will divide his career into three stages: the 1980s as the first stage; the 1990s as the second stage; and the 2000s and thereafter as the third stage. Then, it will describe and analyze the transformation of his narratives and works.
The Japan Foundation was established in 1972 as a specialized agency to promote international cultural exchange, and became an independent administrative institution in 2003. From that time on, the systematic implementation of an evaluation process has become mandatory. The evaluation surveys implemented in Thailand (2011) and Italy (2011) are important/integral parts of this process. One more important meaning that can be attached to these evaluation surveys is that they act as the proposals for new methodology used in this area of applied social research. This paper reports on the data analysis of evaluation surveys of Japan Foundation projects of Japanese
language teaching in Thailand and Italy in 2011. The purpose of this data analysis is to see the overall picture (or in my own terms, the “forest,” instead of the “trees”) of the structure of the interrelationships among the question items used in these evaluation surveys. The procedure of the data analysis for these evaluation surveys is as follows: (1) Prepare a “hypothetical diagram” expressed for the purpose of creating the questionnaire and conducting the data analysis. (2) Examine the marginal frequency distributions (simple-tabulations) of all the question items shown in the hypothetical diagram. (3) Create correlation matrices that show the interrelationships between the question items of the question groups in the hypothetical diagram. (4) Construct a scale for each question item, and for each group of question items. Scales for the groups of question items are constructed by assigning points to the response categories for each question item, and then adding up the total number of points. (5) Create a correlation matrix that shows the relationships between the scales. (6) Perform a Smallest Space Analysis (SSA) using this correlation matrix. Thus current data analysis has generally verified the “hypothetical story” of the people's responses to the question items shown in the hypothetical diagram.
This paper examines the present situations and recent changes of villagers autonomy in Shanpung Cun, an ethnic Korean village in Northeast China. Based on the case study of this village, the ways in which villagers' committee members are elected will be clarified both in terms of their formal procedures and real state of affairs. Also, the criteria for election to the committee members today will be compared to the traditional way of electing leaders, which has existed in these hamlets since their foundation. The findings from this research are as follows. First, the relationship between the villagers' committee and the hamlets has been investigated. Secondly, it has been confirmed that the elections largely follow the forms and traditions that had been common before. Thirdly, the village and the villagers' committee have chosen to adopt the election criteria so that they may be able to cope with drastic changes in their everyday lives. Finally, it has become clear that, due to the power structure within the hamlets, the achievement of democracy still remains to be seen in the pursuit of villagers autonomy in this village.