I engaged in production of TV programs of urban sociology as a professor of Open University of Japan 1997-2004. My first program was “Comparative Sociology of Urban Spacial Structure. " In my first lecture I discussed on M. Weber's method of “Nacherleben und Verstehen" and told that the program as a whole (15 lectures)shoud be a travel of Nacherleben of the development of urban sociology. Basemaps of Chicago by E. W. Burgess, W. Firey's three land use areas in Boston, city of Newberyport where W. L. Warner's “Yankey City" project took place, four settlements in Yucatan Peninsula which led Redfield to the folk-urban continuum, all appeared on air. During this location activities I found another significance of program production. The first example was Hull House, the first settlement house in Chicago, where I found a detaild social map of a Chicago slum block that shows resident origin by each building. I was much impressed to discover myself that the work was done by settlement staff for practical purpose 30 years before concentric zone hypothesis by Burgess. Open University students could also “Nacherleben" my exciting experience of discovery. After many such experiences during location activities, I reached a concept somewhat like visual research. I extended my work in my last program “Cities and Mankind" on the same concept. In the Symposium, the lecture 4, “Siena : feast and local residents association" was put on the screen. Young proposed dicipline of visual sociology has many contoroversial problems two of which I mention as follows. (1) Whether image is raw data or final product of study. In my sccial atlas project case, ratio of young/ old/ nuclear family / whitecollar workers and so on are the data, and they are categorized, verbal in character. After complicated process of K. S. method cluster analysis each of 2000 unit areas of Tokyo was asigned to 20 types of simmilar characteristics. It is the final product of social atlas, which is visual. Professor Ymanaka's seemless image would be in one sense data and and in another final outcome. (2) How visual sociology could obtain reliability and validity which are important criteria for standardized sample survey? The criteria would be not the same as standardized sample survey. New criteria must be designed.
This paper first provides an overview of the production of visual documentaries of the “Korea Town" in Ikuno, Osaka, in which a camera stabilizer (Steadicam) was used to make visual and digital documents of the neighborhood in field research. Finally, some challenges and questions facing sociological researches using visual media are discussed. “Korea Town" is an ethnic market place located in the center of Korean community in Osaka, which includes one of the largest Korean populations in Japan. The first documentary was produced in 1990. Further the second documentary was made in 2007 by using the similar filming method. In order to analyze the visual documentaries, residents of the Korean community and researchers in different academic or ethnic backgrounds were interviewed on historical change of the community and asked the meaning of each symbol representing ethnic cultures. The analysis indicates that the “Korea Town" has clearly strengthened the tendency of visualization of their ethnic identity.
The aim of this paper is to approach “the problem of order of subcultural groups", derived from Claude S. Fischer's “Subcultural Theory of Urbanism", by analyzing a shopping center organization in Mid-Tokyo's amusement district, Kabukichô. “The problem of order of subcultural groups" can be summarized as the problem of how urban society, consisting of various subcultural groups, can avoid collapsing despite its presence within a highly unstable situation. For this purpose of this study, the following methods were adopted: (1) interviewing members of the shopping center organization, shop-owners, officers of the local government and the police, (2) participant observation in various activities such as meetings and patrol activities of the shopping center organizations and (3) surveying official/unofficial documents and statistics. It was found that the shopping center organization in Kabukichô has dualistic organization, consisting of both “The Shopping Center Promotion Union" and “Chô-kai-s (communities of shoppers)". Under dualistic organization, the shopping center organization has dual membership criteria and activity zoning. It has a Janus-like nature to it, which is to say, a nature that mediates between the sex industries and the local government that tries to avoid them at any cost. Because of its dualistic organization, the shopping center organization can achieve a very delicate balance between various actors under the situation that Kabukichô accommodates many sex industries.
This paper attempts to clarify the characteristics of small independent retailers of second-hand clothing and examines the factors of its agglomeration in Tokyo. The number of second-hand clothing stores in Tokyo grew dramatically in the 1990s. The growth was accompanied by the spatial concentration in several commercial areas including Koenji, where many small young independent retailers opened shops. Grounded in research in Koenji, this article shows that the agglomeration formed thorough the interplay of the globalizing second hand market, formation of subcultural consumption, and the change of the social structure of the local business community.
From the perspective of ‘family/community issues' and with an emphasis on the level of urbanization, this paper examines how families position themselves as ‘a family in a network' and recruit resources when they could not cope with childcare issues. The findings are as follows: 1) Depending on the area that includes inner-city, suburb and rural, there is a difference between the distribution of the network a mother possesses. 2) The location of the parents (especially their own parents) is related to the attainment of the mothers' own childcare networks. In relation to this, 3) among these areas, the attainment of resources for childcare networks was poor in suburban mothers. 4) Support from the husband also promotes social intercourse and attainment of childcare networks for the mother (wife). 5) Although support from husband and their own parents have an effect on reducing parenting related isolation of the mother. In general, 6) depending on the urbanization level of these areas, rural mothers attained strong childcare networks whereas suburban mothers attained weak childcare network. However, 7) suburban mothers seemed to actively use friends who are mothers as substitutes and tend to expect ‘childcare support' from them. Overall, 8) a structure in which a lack of intra-family childcare support is compensated by that of external-family cannot be found. It can be said that intra-family supports and external-family supports are in a positive correlation.
According to the previous studies on Toyota automobile workers, they would not participate in social activities, for they are forced to work hard under pressure featuring Toyotism and alienated from their neighborhoods, which are dominated by old residents. However, owing to structural changes around local communities in recent years, Toyota workers have gradually formed intimate ties in their neighborhoods, have begun actively participating in various residential activities. Based on data from a questionnaire survey conducted in 2009, the present paper illustrates and examines how far automobile workers in Toyota commit themselves to residential/civic activities and it is the accumulation of social networks embedded in local communities that has caused this change.
A great amount of work now has been done upon neighborhood association studies.Characteristics and functions were evaluated empirically, and the need of regional-type sorting based on the differences identified has been heard. Nevertheless, it is not yet clear why neighborhood associations of the same area can have different characteristics, neither has it been fully explained why both developing and declining neighborhood associations occur simultaneously within one neighborhood. This paper applies social capital theory described by James S. Coleman to neighborhood associations. It also describes neighborhood associations as social capital, accumulated collective interactions of the individuals involved. That is to see that sustained viability of neighborhood associations has been much due to rational choices of proactive actors. Further in this thesis, In order to see how individuals make decisions upon their participation, social assets and liabilities constructing social capital, and both expected benefits and costs are also described. Thus two positions of rational choice making are clearly sorted. Conclusively reaching two findings, that characteristic differences of neighborhood associations are due to accumulational level of social capital, and having two positions for initial choice making has a great impact upon bearing simultaneous growing/fading dynamics within one area.
Rethinking the methodology of the Chicago school of urban ethnography, this paper focuses on the research trends on the Berkeley school of contemporary urban ethnography. Berkeley school of the contemporary urban ethnography constructed five points of methodological renovation compared with the Chicago school. First, it develops the field method from single-case and single-place to single-case and multi-places [Sánchez-Jankowski, 1991 and 2008]. Furthermore, it proposes the multi-case method [Burawoy,2008] renovates the single case -multi-places method. Third, in Chicago school of urban ethnography, the duration of the field research go to from couples of years to few decades. Forth, epistemological and technical renovation that fieldworkers conduct the research style changes from the visit to the revisit. Fifth, it seeks to theoretically informed methodology. The role of theory in ethnography is not only to analyze the raw materials and to pretend to discover theory “grounded" in the field, but also to integrate the theoretical implications actively at every step in the construction of the object [Wacquant, 2002]. Finally, most importantly, it proposes the new dimensions of a reflexive model of science combined and reconstruct the positive science [Wacquant, 2002. and Burawoy, 2003].