This paper aims to analyze wives’ and husbands’ experience of power in the division of household labor and child-rearing by applying the three perspectives on power-manifest, latent, and invisible power-presented by Komter (1989). The result shows that although the division of housework and child-rearing among the studied couples has been adjusted to be more equal, there are difficulties in achieving equality. A tendency of gradual transfer from manifest power to latent and invisible power has been observed, and the transfer is simultaneously influenced by other powers beyond the couples themselves. Analyzing the impact of invisible power that forces wives to be mainly responsible for housework and child-rearing, to study how the equal division of labor can be achieved, not only cooperation between wife and husband, but also previous experiences of power and the influence of a “third party” should be taken into consideration.
This paper examines the effect of a mother’s personal network on educational investment outside school. To date, many studies have analyzed the existence of the socioeconomic gap in educational investment outside school. However, if parenting is being carried out while receiving support from other people, it is necessary to pay attention to personal networks even when considering educational investment outside school. In particular, it is important to pay attention to the “informational support” that provides information for educational activity outside school and the “instrumental support” that provides substantial and economic support. The result shows that the mother’s personal network is associated with educational investment outside school even after taking socioeconomic factors into account. In particular, it became clear that relationships with a mother’s own parents and friends are positively related to educational investment outside school. The result suggested that educational investment outside school is promoted by the “instrumental support” from relationships with the mother’s own parents and the “informational support” from relationships with her friends.
Child abuse has attracted the attention of researchers in multiple disciplines, such as sociology, social welfare, public health, and pediatrics. However, we know little about the determinants of the occurrence of high-risk child abuse. Using data from the abuse-counseling records of child guidance centers, we explore the covariates of high-risk child abuse, which we define as cases in which the child guidance center separates the child from his or her parents after temporary custody (so-called “parent/child separation”). Our results suggest that (1) the young age of the abuser and (2) having a sibling are positively related to the likelihood of parent/child separation. In conclusion, we will discuss the methodological and practical contributions of this study to the child abuse literature.
Family sociologists in Japan have been paying attention to family change. There has been a remarkable family change in recent decades in Japan, namely, a rapid increase in the number of single-person households. This session focus on that change. There are many different patterns of single-person households. This session examines middle-aged single-person households. Until now, Japanese family sociologists and social epidemiologists have not focused on those who are middle-aged. This special issue has three articles on this topic. Yamada’s article examines the emotional networks in single-person households. Miwa’s article examines whether there are gender differences among single-person households. Fujimori’s article discusses demographic information on single-person households and suggests social policies for them.
After World War II, as the idea of the “modern family” spread, most young people got married, and staying single was seen as an exceptional phenomenon institutionally and in terms of custom, with no models that treated them. But after the 1980s, the number of unmarried and divorced people increased. As a result, the increase in middle-aged single people has recently come to be seen as a problem. The life situations of middle-aged single people are varied in nature. Over half live with their parents. Their economic situations also vary, but the income of single people living with their parents is relatively low; only their parents’ support permits them to lead reasonable lives. As for their emotional life, there is a trend for singles without partners to satisfy their need for intimacy externally. In the future, many singles living with their parents will become aged. After the death of their parents, they will suffer from serious problems in their economic and emotional lives.
The aim of this study was to examine the lifestyles, attitudes, and behaviors of middle-aged singles from a gender perspective. An exploratory statistical analysis of large-scale survey datasets found that, first, it was not necessarily the case with middle-aged singles that living in a single household generally led to dating and marriage; second, a significantly large number of middle-aged single women indicated that they had chosen not to marry because they did not want to lose their freedom; third, the distribution of basic variables for lifestyle and attitudes was similar between middle-aged single men and women; and fourth, while there was a systematic gender difference in terms of consultation networks and learning behavior among middle-aged singles, the degree of this difference was smaller than that among senior singles. Through a comprehensive examination, no significant gender differences were observed among middle-aged singles in terms of lifestyle, attitudes, and behaviors. Rather, it can be said that such a small gender difference is a characteristic of middle-aged singles.
In Japan, social policy was basically established by assuming that family should play a major role in mitigating the risks pertaining to personal lives. On the other hand, the number of single-person households has been rising, and the traditional function of family members to support each other within a household has been said to be weakened. This report considered the risks involving single-person households and what measures are imperative, with a focus on the middle-aged cohort. More specifically, I analyzed how and why the number of middle-aged single-person households has been increasing. In so doing, I discussed the risks of poverty and the social isolation that single-person households of working age could face. Also, I researched the economic, residential, and socially isolated situation, as well as care for aging parents and provision for the future, by comparing “would-be single-person households, i.e. the unmarried middle-aged cohort living with parents as plural-person households” and “middle-aged single-person households.” Finally, I proposed imperative measures for the future that include the expansion of consultation services and relation-building places, job-search support, the entitlement of part-time workers to receive employees’ pension insurance, and an increase of public support for education and residence.