The rapid aging of the population observed in Japan is incomparable to that in the U.S. and Europe, and one is left with almost no precedent model for redesigning life after retirement in this highly industrialized society. Today, Japanese society is full of retired people enjoying their longevity and thus creating an aging society. Besides, under the lifetime employment system, fixed-age retired people have developed a firm career identity through their long work life. For that reason, switching identities has become a challenge for retired people. The fixed-age retirement issue, on which this paper is themed, is a highly socially demanding topic in this regard. The purpose of this study is to clarify the difficulty for retirees to switch identities, which prior studies have not analyzed and to propose a social apparatus called retired people's house as a rite of passage, using Victor Turner's theory on the rites of passage. Retired people's house is modeled after Young men's house, a rite-of-passage apparatus designed to shift youths into adults. This paper consists of two surveys: 1) Quantitative survey on the activeness and relationships of fixed-age retired people by residential region and 2) a qualitative survey on the model case of retired people's house. Based on the acquired results, the paper discusses the possibilities of retired people's house.
This article analyzes the factors contributing to uneven distribution of medical specialization by gender, based on theories derived from both sociological and economic traditions regarding career choices against survey data obtained from interviews with female medical doctors. Uneven distribution of medical specialization between the genders is a serious problem, and is directly related to the problems of shortages and overall uneven distribution of medical doctors that have recently become issues of public concern. The results of the analysis show that female doctors tend to congregate in a relatively limited number of areas of specialization, not so much because of outright sexual discrimination based on traditional gender role values of male bosses and colleagues, or because of traditional gender role values espoused by female doctors themselves, but because of different incentives and structural and institutional factors associated with these particular areas of specialization, although gender role values may indirectly affect female doctors' career choices through human capital investment decisions and interests they espouse in peculiar specializations. These results suggest that appropriate changes to the system would greatly alleviate the problem of uneven distribution of medical doctors by gender.