Using a comparative historical sociological approach, this article aims to clarify the principle of “community” as a significant element of citizenship, by examining the ideas and policies of social rights in pre-World War II Japan and China. Efforts were made to create a personality with an ability to contribute to the community through “social solidarity” in both countries; however, there were differences in the understanding of “charity,” a concept that was regarded as the antithesis of “social solidarity” in Japan and China.【br】In Japan, charity meant a paternalistic relief practice, or a giving with grace, by a so-called charitable person. Therefore, the idea of social solidarity, or sociability in everyday family and local community life, and charitable persons who acted in the “spirit of seeking nothing in return,” were emphasized. In China, in contrast, charity meant a practice of providing relief without “organization” or “selfish governance,” depending on such a contingent factor as the personal abilities of gentry who did charitable work. For this reason, founding and establishing an organization, and finding and training a person who was able to unify and run the organization, were important tasks in China.【br】This article has clarified how the different principles involved in integrating communities were produced in the two countries: the spirit of self-sacrifice in Japan, and the strong commitment to organization in China.
In this paper, I demonstrate that the mode of data collection affects the response to questions about “subjective status identification” by comparing two surveys that were conducted in the same year, with the same questions about “subjective status identification,” but with different modes of data collection. The result shows that the paper and pencil interview (PAPI) respondents expressed higher subjective status identification than mail survey respondents after controlling for sex, age, and socioeconomic status. This outcome suggests that the difference between the two modes of data collection, especially the presence of interviewers, causes measurement errors.【br】Next, I examine whether the difference obtained above is affected by the presence of interviewers, and, if so, what kind of responses to the questions about subjective status identification are socially desirable or meant to show politeness to the interviewers. It is observed that the tendency to answer “medium” is socially desirable or considered to be polite in male samples, and the same is true of “more highly” in female samples. These results mean that the responses to questions about subjective status identification are biased toward being higher in face-to-face interviews and affected by the impact of the interviewers' presence.
This article aims to describe practices that help participants in talk-in-interactions share their images. In recent years, there has been growing interest in the collaborative nature of imagination. However, few attempts have been made at identifying the empirical practices that help participants share images. This article focuses on the practice of sharing images using both verbal and non-verbal behaviors, such as posture and gesture. Through conducting field work in a project team that is constructing a permanent science museum installation and detailed interaction analysis of the meeting interactions between members of the team, we find that reconciling a bodily orientation toward the depiction of images and a bodily orientation toward face-to-face interaction by verbal and non-verbal configurations of interaction enables participants to be both depictive in representing and explaining images and interactive in securing inter-subjectivity with recipients at any one time. We identified “head turning” behavior as a practice by which tellers can coordinate a bodily orientation toward description and face-to-face interaction. This practice enables participants in talk-in-interactions to describe members' verbal and non-verbal behavior as “sharing images” as a sociological description. Detailed examination of this practice shows how group members share their images in meeting interactions in order to work through organizational issues or problems.
This study aims to describe the allocation of work values and to discuss its longterm change among Japanese laborers. According to R. Inglehart's value change theory, social and economic affluence cause a cultural shift from materialist values toward postmaterialist values. This theory assumes time effects (scarcity hypothesis) and cohort effects (socialization hypothesis) to explain the value change in the whole society.【br】In the context of this study, materialist values mean extrinsic work values such as good-pay or job security. On the other hand, postmaterialist values correspond with intrinsic work values such as initiative, achievement, and autonomy. It is important to validate the empirical evidence about whether the younger cohort maintains intrinsic work values or not despite the economic instability and expanding social disparities after the 1990s.【br】In this study, we used correspondence analysis to describe the allocation of work values among male and female laborers and developed logistic regression models to test the assumption of time and cohort effects by using long-term repeated survey data. The following results were derived from the analysis of the NHK Japanese Opinion Surveys conducted from 1973 to 2008. First, the young cohort that has been socialized in the period of rapid economic growth basically emphasizes intrinsic work values compared to the older cohort that has grown-up during a less affluent period. However, more importantly, especially after the collapse of the bubble economy in the early 1990s, intrinsic work values orientation among the younger cohort has been weakened. In contrast, orientation towards extrinsic work values, such as job security, increased. This result suggests the possibility of emergence of a value fluctuation, especially among younger generations.
This paper aims to clarify the labor market segmentation by firm size experienced by young Japanese workers in their transitions from non-regular to regular employment. According to the dual labor market theory, in Japan there are unequal opportunities for upward mobility among sectors, depending on firm size.【br】The author investigates (i) the effect of a worker's first job and labor market conditions on his or her transition, and (ii) the relationship between a worker's sector in non-regular employment, and that in regular employment, by applying a competing risks model to retrospective job career data. The data set used for this analysis is from the Social Stratification and Social Mobility Survey conducted in 2005, which contains detailed work history information. The analysis is restricted to respondents who were between 15 and 39 years of age, whose first employment status was non-regular employment, and who were not married when they entered the labor market.【br】The results show that professionals are more likely to gain regular employment in large firms or in the public sector, whereas skilled manual workers are more likely to find regular employment in small firms. Labor market conditions at the time of their transition affect the workers' chances of finding regular employment in large firms or in the public sector, while labor market conditions at the time of entry affect the possibility of being offered regular employment in small firms. It was also found that respondents who belonged to large firms or who worked for the public sector were more likely to get regular employment in large firms or in the public sector.【br】We find that these results are consistent with predictions made using the dual labor market theory. Our findings indicate that young Japanese workers' transitions from non-regular employment are embedded in a two-tiered youth labor market structure.
The atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima City on August 6, 1945. This paper aims to analyze how the structural damages caused by the bomb in the case of the Buraku community, A Town (a pseudonym), were different from the structural damages to other towns, and interpret these differences using two concepts of disaster sociology: social vulnerability and resiliency. This research reinforces disaster sociology with the finding that we need to analyze the structural differences of the damage to areas and people, in order to understand the extent of the damage, and to realize that the real damage is determined by two forces that cancel each other out: one force is used to identify the structural damage, and the other is used to level it.【br】Although mortality rates caused by the atomic bomb in A Town were almost the same as those in other towns equidistant from the hypocenter, the proportion of A Town's completely destroyed and burned buildings, and the number of people injured, were higher for three reasons: 1) houses occupied by poor people were crowded together; 2) they did not have places in the suburbs to which they could evacuate; and 3) many residents stayed in town because their homes were also their workplaces. Under these circumstances, A Town's people were showered with much more residual radioactivity, and suffered from atomic bomb disease long after the war. These circumstances were the result of two structural conditions caused by discrimination: the historical effects of social isolation and poverty levels before the bomb exploded, and the cumulative effects of collapsing lives and social isolation after the bomb exploded.【br】On the other hand, A Town's people struggled to recover from the damage. People worked collectively to reconstruct their lives and the area. They had previously shared experiences working on the local improvement movement and the Buraku Liberation Movement. Nevertheless, A Town was a town isolated from Hiroshima society after the war. In addition to the structural damages it sustained, other greater invisible damages were also inflicted.
In the 1960s, around 60,000 women belonged to Nagano's Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) Mothers' Book Club. It is interesting that so many rural women participated in a book club. The purpose of this research is to examine what reading was like for the book club members, and how it was related to their positions and abilities. I used ethnomethodology to clarify the practices of members in the Mothers' Book Club, and focused especially on how they showed and shared their “reading” experiences in the book club. Careful reading of the handmade booklets they compiled revealed the following three points related to the members' “reading” concept. First, they tried to read to “catch up with the times.” However, they thought that catching up with times was a mission not only for mothers, but also for all the people who lived in the same period. Second, they tried to read without giving up their roles as rural women. It was not easy to engage in reading activities without sacrificing housework and farm work. However, ironically, a shared sense of this difficulty led them to build a tremendous sense of camaraderie. Third, they got the opportunity to be freed not only from being rural women but also from being mothers through the book club's own way of “reading”. They shared the idea that “reading” activities were practice getting out of the obligations of rural women. In addition, by considering that they were at the bottom of the changing society, they could justify giving more effort to “reading” than to taking care of their children. These agreements allowed them to realize the opportunity to engage in the activity of “reading”, and the members enjoyed it.
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