This symposium, the second in a three-year series, focused on “family strategy.” The theme of the first symposium had been “Family Strategy in an Era of Economic Recession, Aging, and Declining Birthrates”; this year dealt with child-rearing and care for the elderly. Mutsuko Tendo's paper, entitled “Child-Rearing Strategies and Invisible Control: Changes in Child-Rearing Media,” described child-rearing strategies in the modern “education-centered family.” Chizuko Ueno's paper, entitled “Family Strategy on Care: Norms, Preferences, and Resources,” concluded that family care should be distinguished from home care, in opposition to professional care and institutional care. The last paper, Shogo Takegawa's “Family Strategies?: Between Public Policy and Individual Strategies,” argued for establishing a positive spiral between family strategy and public policy. As for the commentators, Noriko Tateyama raised the topic of urban-family networking, and Hiroyuki Kubota proposed to grasp family strategy at multiple levels. Kuniko Kato and Kazue Muta chaired the symposium.
This paper focuses on the following three points: child-rearing strategies, the characteristics of and changes in child-rearing media in Japan, and the “subject” of child-rearing fathers from the perspective of “invisible control.” The concept of child-rearing strategies is a useful one for analyzing the daily practice of childcare and social structure. This paper highlights the demographic transition and child-rearing strategic transition after World War II and also examines child-rearing strategies in a society with a declining birth rate, while considering meritocratic ideology. Based on Basil Bernstein's theory, this paper examines the changes from positional families to person-oriented families, from visible to invisible control. Next, this paper traces changes in child-rearing media, which have become popular since the 1970s, and points out the change of knowledge structure, from vertical to horizontal. Especially through the consideration of new media mainly for childcare-conscious fathers after 2000, this paper describes child-rearing strategies in the modern “education-centered family.”
It is impossible to talk about “family strategy on care,” but it is possible to deal with “strategy on family care.” Family care is chosen by both caregivers and care recipients based on the configuration of social norms, preferences, and social and individual resources. We must ask who cares for whom, because quality of care depends on family relations. Even though family care may be preferred, whether family care is really desirable has to be examined. In conclusion, family care should be distinguished from home care, in opposition to professional care and institutional care. By so doing, home care without family care can be realized.
In this paper, I propose to introduce public policy as a new variable into the context of the family strategy scheme. Most of the “structural conditions” for family strategies are made by the government's public policy decisions. On the other hand, as a result of the aggregate of each family's strategies, public policy itself may be kept stable or be changed significantly. As with other developed countries, Japan has been affected by globalization and individualization. However, their influence does not appear in a pure form in Japan, because the family serves as a buffer zone. Japan's welfare regime has made it possible, thus far. However, the number of families is currently declining in Japan. The impact of public policy for family change cannot be said to have been fully evaluated until now. However, the first blow by public policy is important for social change, including family change. In order to establish a positive spiral between family strategy and public policy, the first blow by public policy is being demanded in Japan today.
Since the late 1980s, both subjectivistic family studies and constructionist family studies have been arguing for the analytic importance of the everyday concept of family that people use in their daily lives. However, these studies have been criticized on the assumption that they denied the utility and the possibility of the professional concept of family. This paper identifies the implications of the everyday concept for the sociological study of family that both subjectivistic and constructionist family studies as well as their critics have failed to recognize. First, it reviews the debate between subjectivistic and constructionist family studies and their critics over the relationship between the professional and everyday concepts of family. Then, by combining this issue with studies of relevant descriptions in social sciences, it suggests that (1) focusing on the everyday concept of family can lead to resolving the sociological controversy over the definitions of family and (2) the everyday concept is necessary condition for the relevance of professional definitions of family in empirical studies.
Family studies in early postwar Japan supposed that a contrast between the prewar and postwar periods could be drawn using a model in which the affective relations of the latter's “democratic family” is emphasized as symbolic in the progression “from institution to companionship.” However, the question must be asked whether the “democratic family, ” in which the democratic idea is applied to family relations, is an “amicable” one? I consider the conflict between the “Japanese family system” and the “democratic family” in “democratization of family” theory focusing on the affective relations of the family. As a result of this examination, I clearly demonstrate that scholars in the field of family studies at that time considered that the “Japanese family system” was an affective space and that the idea of “democracy,” in terms of “rights and duties” applied to a “democratic family” and “individuality,” was in conflict with the affective relations of the family. The conflict was, so to speak, between the notions of the “Japanese family system,” which could be amicable, and the “democratic family,” which does not necessarily become amicable.