Japanese Sociological Review
Online ISSN : 1884-2755
Print ISSN : 0021-5414
ISSN-L : 0021-5414
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Showing 1-17 articles out of 17 articles from the selected issue
Articles
  • Yoshiyuki FUKUMOTO
    2018 Volume 69 Issue 1 Pages 2-20
    Published: 2018
    Released: June 30, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    A medical lawsuit places many demands on the plaintiff. Even the victorious plaintiffs we interviewed as part of our study were not satisfied with the result. The defendant doctors' failure to apologize upfront was the most common reason for plaintiff dissatisfaction. Plaintiffs believe that it is only natural that doctors apologize if they failed to provide proper medical care and caused unexpected adverse effects. It is presumed that plaintiffs, ordinarily laymen in the eyes of the law, consider doctors as liable to provide treatment and, at the same time, proffer apology for any failure to perform their duties and have adverse consequences. If so, it is possible that the liability that plaintiffs intend to pursue may exceed the doctors' liability for negligence. Therefore, in this paper, we examine the liability that plaintiffs intend to pursue against doctors.

    We show that a doctor's obligation is “doing the best in his/her power and paying reasonable attention” and that this obligation (Article 415 of the Civil Code) is based on liability for negligence. In our report, we describe a case where a plaintiff pursued a liability against a doctor who failed to care for his child patient. The plaintiff alleged that the doctor failed to care for the child as an individual and did not treat him diligently. We show that this liability was “liability for process.”

    In this case, “liability for process” was found to be a double-edged duty, applicable not only to doctors but also to plaintiffs. For many plaintiffs, the process of pursuing “liability for process” corresponds to the process of seeking closure.

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  • Kazuhisa FURUTA
    2018 Volume 69 Issue 1 Pages 21-36
    Published: 2018
    Released: June 30, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    This paper examines the mechanisms of educational inequality, focusing on class structure in terms of the amount and composition of capital. I analyzed families' class position and its relationship to the educational expectations of high school students and their mothers using data from the “Survey among High School Students and their Mothers, 2012” conducted in Japan. The main results are as follows. To explore the structure of social class, I first applied latent class analysis to the variables, indicating students' social background, which consists of parental occupation, education, household income and savings, and cultural possessions in the home. I derived five classes and characterized them by the amount and composition of capital. In effect, I demonstrated the existence of the most advantaged class, with abundant economic and cultural capital, and the disadvantaged class, which has a low level of such capital. In addition, I found two “asymmetric” classes that differ in their relative distribution of these types of capital - one has a high level of cultural capital and a low level of economic capital, and vice versa - as well as one middle class. Second, in addition to the amount of cultural and economic capital, composition affects the educational expectations of students and their mothers. When I compared the educational expectations of the two “asymmetric” classes, the class whose dominant capital is cultural has higher educational expectations than the class whose dominant capital is economic. Third, I confirmed the impact of cultural capital between the upper and middle classes. On the other hand, economic capital strongly influences educational expectations between classes with low levels of cultural capital. In sum, these results indicate that educational inequalities are generated in a very complex way in contemporary society, as reflected by the multidimensional nature of social classes.

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  • Kenichi YAMAGUCHI
    2018 Volume 69 Issue 1 Pages 37-55
    Published: 2018
    Released: June 30, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Previous studies have warned that multicultural convivial practices in Japanese society often fall into the trap of maintaining discrimination and inequality structures. This article examines a strategy of multicultural convivial practices intended to avoid this trap by analyzing the case of Higashi-Kujo Madang, a Zainichi Korean ethnic festival with some multicultural aspects. Previous studies of this festival have not recognized its complete nature and significance, although they have suggested that its characteristics resemble Korean ethnic culture, multicultural conviviality, or local community.

    Higashi-Kujo Madang places great importance on various cultural or ethnic people individually expressing themselves. It not only represents the ideas of Zainichi Koreans' People's Cultural Movement but also depicts an individualistic perspective. Both these facets are on display during the festival, which is held in the Higashi-Kujo area where various discriminated peoples live. Furthermore, the festival expands these facets toward multicultural conviviality to fit the characteristics of its area. Thus, Higashi-Kujo Madang is an amalgam of three features: Korean ethnic culture, multicultural conviviality, and local community.

    This article highlights that the festival signifies the so-called “politics of existence” strategy, which can help avoid the trap of multicultural convivial practices. Higashi-Kujo Madang not only deconstructs dominant discourses and representations spread in a local community but also reconstructs them to fit multicultural conviviality through an autotelic formation as a festival based on universalistic human values. These practices are thus “representing their existences” through the “politics of ‘appearing existence’” (Kurihara 2005) of the various peoples.

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  • Naoki IKEDA
    2018 Volume 69 Issue 1 Pages 56-71
    Published: 2018
    Released: June 30, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    This study aims to examine P. L. Berger's contributions, with a special focus on his work about the meaning of sociology at the meta-level. In the 1960s, when Berger started to develop his theory, the debate on the relationship between sociology and politics was lively. Clearly conscious of this, Berger continued his theoretical work, although he was also concerned about sociology and his religious faith. From a time perspective, the former issue overlapped the latter through the 1970s.

    Therefore, this study relocates Berger's theory at the intersection between his consideration on sociology and politics and the ones on sociology and his religious faith. By doing so, it will formulate his sociological thought in terms of “science and ethics” as he put it. This could shed a new light on his theory about sociology and politics, which has been questioned as to whether it embodies conservative ideas. In other words, this study reinterprets Berger's thought within the interrelated frameworks of sociology, politics, and religion.

    Thus, this research provides a general view on the outline of his thought configuration. This outline could be the clue to reexamine the concepts within Berger's sociological theory, in particular those of “meaning” and “everyday life,” as well as to discuss the traits of American sociology.

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  • Hiroshi TANAKA
    2018 Volume 69 Issue 1 Pages 72-87
    Published: 2018
    Released: June 30, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    This Paper considers a moment of resistance in space. Based on the concept of non-productive consumption used by Henri Lefebvre, the method of bodily practice towards the appropriation of social space is examined. Unlike productive consumption aimed at the production and exchange of goods, this notion aims to be a strategy for fragmented modern spaces to become or reconnect to “lived experience.” Non-productive consumption is based on value in use and is assumed to consist of physical acts such as narration and hearing. Therefore, non-productive consumption can be seen as an understanding of the object mediated by the body and its daily practice. To clarify the process of these acts, in this paper, I use the term “fields of sense” which is an idea of the German Philosopher Markus Gabriel. Using his concept, our understanding of the object consists of associating plural perceptions and possibilities of other views, and can emerge differently according to cases. However, in these processes, orders of eliminating or invalidating specific perceptions can be oppressively operating. From a practical angle, these perceptional acts can be regarded as a couple of “translational practices.” Hence, perceptional actions based on orders are considered as passive “translational practice,” while actions that create new understanding constitute active “translational practices.” Thus, it is clear that if places work with one of the active senses, translational practice can be considered as the potentiality for the appropriation of space.

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  • Natsuko NOJIMA
    2018 Volume 69 Issue 1 Pages 88-106
    Published: 2018
    Released: June 30, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    “The quest narrative,” one of three types of illness narratives defined by A.W. Frank, is proposed as an ideal type. It requires the “acceptance” of illness and the ill person's belief that something new is to be gained through the experience. This moral narrative, as a “successful living narrative,” may devalue the narrative by people who do not accept illness as a failed way of living. It is difficult to see how people around an ill person and socioeconomic factors influence the process of accepting suffering and telling his/her experience, because individual efforts of the moral agents are emphasized.

    The purpose of this study is to reconsider “acceptance” of illness as a requirement for “the quest narrative.” In this paper, I use the narratives of fibromyalgia patients who do not accept their illnesses. Through analysis of the narratives, I mainly obtain the following four insights. First, not only the ill person but also people around him/her could share the responsibility for the “acceptance” of their illnesses. Second, telling and listening to a “good story” could make one a normal ill person. Third, if people around the ill person do not accept his/her illness, the responsibility of “acceptance” of illness could be individualized. Finally, even if the ill person does not accept his/her illness, he/she could tell his/her story to share his/her experience with others.

    These results suggest that “the quest narrative” should allow a variety of ways of “acceptance” of illness such as sharing or collaborating on it with others. Against the danger of listening to only “the good story,” the listener has to find the various “quest” in each illness narrative, and “the quest narratives” with rich variation should be brought up.

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  • Ryo HAYASHI
    2018 Volume 69 Issue 1 Pages 107-124
    Published: 2018
    Released: June 30, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    During the 1960s in Japan, with the rapid expansion of chain stores, there was a structural change in the retail industry. In this period, growing retail companies such as Daiei and Seiyu opened stores in various locations. As a result, mass distribution based on “discounting” was established.

    Historical research of the retail industry shows that retail consultants, as a professional group, had a significant role in the industry's structural changes. Their activities, which presented the possibilities of a chain store style that relied on advanced American retailing and business administration, had a major impact at that time. In this regard, how did these consultants pick up on novel management approaches that had previously been denied because of Japanese traditions and succeed in spreading them among retailers? Past studies are unable to answer this question.

    In this study, we focus on the discourse of retail consultants who were engaged in “the modernization movement of merchandising” at the time. Our process informs the analysis of consumer society research findings and demonstrates the following points. First, we show that when commercial consultants positively highlighted “discounting” in the “Modernization Movement of Merchandising,” “discounting” and “dumping” were disentangled from the frameworks of “mass production” and “mass consumption.” Second, we explain that claims for “discounting” were closely related to the introduction of business administration. Third, we elucidate that the practice of “discounting” was driving anticipation for the arrival of a “consuming society,” so that the norm of contribution to “consumers” was linked to “discounting.”

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  • Yoshinori TAKATA
    2018 Volume 69 Issue 1 Pages 125-142
    Published: 2018
    Released: June 30, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Today, many people participate in volunteer activities in various fields; however, governments and institutions that use volunteers as an auxiliary/subcontract workforce hinder them from maximizing their potential and strength. While the number of hospital volunteers in Japan has increased under the government's promotion policy, most of their activities remain as subcontracted work. However, Ms. Z's activities at the department of hematology and oncology of Y Hospital for 20 years go beyond such subcontracted work. In this article, I focus on the “perception” of the hospital staff that enables the expansion of Z's volunteer activities. First, I confirm three perceptions— “disrespect,” “threat,” and “burden” —that hinder the expansion of volunteer activities. Then, I examine how the Y hospital staff perceive Z's volunteer activities, contrasting this with the three hindering perceptions. The results of my analysis show that 1) the staff of the ward find Z difficult to replace, 2) the staff regard Z as “a member of the team” and a “supporter,” and 3) Z's activities improve the quality of care for patients and their families. Therefore, the staff do not regard the increase in their workload while cooperating with Ms. Z as a burden. Finally, I discuss the practical implication of these results for the issues of subcontracting.

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