Some of the developments of “cognitive science” over that past few decades have shed light on the flaws of long-unscathed assumptions in sociological action theories—theories which have endowed the purposive-rational action with exorbitant significance. On the one hand, experimental evidences on heuristics indicate that human capacity for algorithmic thinking is limited. On the other hand, observations on the unexpected prevalence of routinized, stereotyped behaviors in the social realm elucidate the wax and wane of purposive-consciousness in a succession of actions. By using heuristics and engaging in stereotypical action, people ‘get along’ in their uncertain and complex world.
Weber's concept of ideal-types is an instrument with which reality is compared and surveyed. But if ideal-types are used to formulate “ideas, ” such as religious ethics, how can the reality itself be recognized? This paper points out that Weber's method of understanding (Verstehen) depends on using “Richtigkeitstypus” as an ideal-type and, therefore, makes it uncertain for the observer of actions to understand real subjective meanings themselves. Weber claims that even actions which the acter himself is not fully conscious of could be rationally understood by the obserber because Weber is aware of the problem that modern society is so complex that people can act without knowing original meanings with which institutions were constructed.
This article aims at reviewing the goals and the significances of “ethnomethodological studies of work” and making clear their relations to the classic sociological studies of social order. It is emphasis on the rational properties of indexical expressions that identifies ethnomethodology as study distinct from and in contrast to mainstream or orthodox sociology. Indexicality is a feature that provides ethnomethodology with unique study policies, a part of which, but the most significant, is the respecification of all actions as “locally produced, naturally accountable phenomena of order”. According to Garfinkel and others, scholars working in classical vein make use of these features of order production-yet have ignored this fact completely. This article attempts to show that ethnomethodological studies of work find and respecify these phenomena in their own right.
Richard Rorty, who calls himself pragmatist, has offered his own views on social consensus with focus on his key-concept of “conversation.” He is also active in the discussions of postmodernism. In contemparary sociology there are many topics, such as ethnicity, environment, and gender, which relate to the issues of coexistence of disparate values. Although Rorty presents his own views on such states of affairs, his contribution has not been well recognized in the sociological literature. This paper attempts to consider the significance of Rorty's pragmatism in a sociological context. This attempt also aims to be a search for a direction liberal democracy might take following postmodernity.
Earlier sociological approaches to organizations focused on internal structure per se. In contrast, recent organizational studies pay much attention to phenomena such as cultures or institutions which function as foundations of organizational structure. However, the “theory of organizational culture” and the “new institutionalist theory of organizations” have hitherto been developed in isolation from one another. This paper therefore attempts to construct an integrated framework which might serve to bridge the gap between recent cultural approach and institutional approach to organizational phenomena.
Many theorists have included various types of collective phenomena and behaviors in the concept of “collective behavior”, and each theorist has given his/her own definition to collective behavior. This plethora of definitions hinders research progress and there is a need of a more exacting operalization. This paper reviews many of the tautology and ambiguous meanings of “collectivity” in explanations for sequences of formation of collective behavior in such works emerging from, among others, the Chicago school: from R.E.Park and H.Blumer to R.H.Turner =L.M.Killian. As an option to the above, the gathering/assembling proces model, which focuses on how individuals' actions become collective, would contribute the resolution of these conceptual problems.
Semiology and Speech Act Theory belong to different theoretical traditions. However, in order to understand human beings who can use language, both types of theories are required. In other words, both theories must be unified into a “theory of communication”. To solve this problem, the anther: (1)examines Luhmann's concept of Medium/Form-relationship, and (2)reconstructs semiology in terms of a series of these relationships.In the conclusion, the anther (3) combines these considerations with the conception of pragmatics.
The essential trait of his social theory consists, as is generally known, in “la morale” as its theoretical core. Nevertheless, the problem as to what “la morale” means at all in his theory has not been altogether clarified. This essay, tracing some of the most important points in his theoretical developments, will investigate the constitution of “la morale” and, putting stress on its genetical aspect, clarify the original image of his scholarly insight on which his whole social theory is founded. Lastly, consideration is given to a perspective that will enable us to develop his achievements further on and open up new theoretical dimensions of “sociologic morale”.
Emmanuel Levinas has challenged the traditional questions of philosophy, namely, the definition of the Other by the Same and ontology, and has presented radical studies on ethics. His works open up new possibilities in the further developments of both philosophy and social theory. Zygmunt Bauman is a scholar of the postmodernist perspectives on ethics. After examining Levinas' and Bauman's works, the outline of a social theory sensitive to ‘ethical questioning’ is presented.
The concept of “structure” is regularly used in Durkheimian fashion, yet sociologists' use of the term is often vague and ambiguous. Seen as external to social actors, it appears as a constraint upon action. In contrast to this view, Anthony Giddens insisted that structure is not to be equated with constraint but is always both enabling and constraining. Many critics, however, aver that Giddens does not deal adequately with the question of structural constraint. This paper is an attempt to examine whether or not such criticism is apt. Through that examination a weak point in Giddens' structuration theory will be pointed out.
The sociology of history could be understood in two aspects: one is the sociology of historical problems, and the other is the sociology of historical process of a society's civilization, culture or thought, and knowledge. In these two aspects, German sociologist Norbert Elias is one of the most important sociological thinkers of the twentieth century. The main theme of this paper is to cull out the theoretical and methodological key points in Elias' voluminous, yet, scattered publications. The first section is devoted to a general analysis of his works from the above two viewpoints. In section two is a treatment of Elias' main theoretical concept of social and historical analysis-namely, his figurational theory- and takes it as a methodology in the examination of historical problems. The concluding section attempt to find the theoretical and problematic unity of Elias' civilizing theory as a study of historical process.
Global migration has been prompted by the advancement of international transport systems and communication. In terms of foreigners' settlement issues, a study of migration has generally examined adjustment patterns of new settlers to the host societies relating to the characteristic of ethnicity. Additionally, a study of international labor migration has prevailed in ascertaining the mechanisms of trans-national population movement en masse with no consideration of sojourners. The objective of this paper is to delineate the concept of the sojourner, incorporating features of the nature of contemporary human mobilization and settlement, in response to the increasing significance of the effects of sojourning residents, who contrast with the immigrants as a permanent settler, on the host communities.
This paper explores the effectiveness and the shortcomings of utilizing a panel as a method in the study of the family. The conclusions of this paper were derived from the examination of materials from a longitudinal research project conducted five times between 1966 and 1992 in Katsunuma town, Yamanashi prefecture. Though a panel is the most effective method in revealing the actual processes of family change, it has some shortcomings. Moreover, it has become obvious that an ever-increasing body of data necessitates that statistical techniques are needed for analyzing this large amount of research. The author contends that when efforts are made to minimize the defects and to develop statistical techniques, the panel method will demonstrate its true effectivenss.
The concept of ‘emancipation of sex’ should be reconsidered. We suggest three propositions. 1) A sexual behavior is emancipatied by comparing the perniciousness of other sexual behaviors. 2) The loosening of social regulation on a sexual behavior is accompanied with the tightening of regulation on other sexual behaviors. 3) Therefore, emancipation of sexual behaviors doesn't occur homogeneously. In this paper, we emamine the universe of discourses on sex in modern Japan. We find that the eroticization of sexual behavior in marriage occured in 1910's and it was accompanied with stronger regulations on other sexual behaviors (masturbation, premarital intercourse, prostitution, and homosexuality).
This paper examines, from a sociological point of view, the religious movements in modern Japan—in particular, the Buddhist movements which proposed to make this world a utopia by the unity of religion and politics. The focus is placed upon the movement started by Tanaka Tigaku (1861-1939) who, before the Second World War, organized the Kokuchukai Society. His movement aimed to unify Japan and the rest of the world by the unity of religion and politics (Houkokumyogo). The movement is, here, defined as “the Nichiren-ist movement of the original theory of national polity” based on his original “theory of national polity of Nichiren-ism”. The special note of this movement is taken to the period of the 1900's to the 1920's.
In Japan, there are some serious latent functions of American/British English. The more the English educational system grows in Japan, the fewer chances the Japanese have for studying other foreign languages (the “Matthew Effect”), the more dominant an Anglo-Saxon's ethos becomes. They also would rational ize the hierarchy of Japanese labor market that is organized by the various differeces in cultural capitals. English-loan words have become the outer skin of Japanese language body, and threaten to become its true skin. But English-loan words cannot be rigarded as genuine English words.
This article is based on the data of a survey of Iranians currently living and working in Japan. Using Portes' theoretical framework, the author provides an analysis and discussion of several aspects relating to them in view of their strategies for survival and future life chances. The conclusions presented are that; 1) The group of Iranians living in Japan are composed of differing classes of origin and that there is a significant correlation between class of origin and purpose of coming to Japan; 2) The major factors that affects their working conditons are the point in time in the economic cycle they entered the labor market and the extent of their own social networks; 3) They see the Japanese society through the frames of reference that have been produced in view of their expected life chances; 4) Despite the persistence of the economic recession, some Iranians are gradually becoming permanent residents.
Dento-Shohigata Toshi (Traditional-Consumption Oriented City), so named by Kurasawa, is one of the types of cities in modern Japan and purportedly has two differing structures within them. One structure is ‘old fashioned’, whilst the other is ‘modern’, in the sense of employment opportunities and values. Making Yamagata City a case study of this phenomenon, this paper will focus on some occupational mobility patterns, which are constrained by geographical mobility. Furthermore, career groups from these mobilities were observed to provide empirical evidence that each career group has its own Personal Community and sets of values. Finally, the relative social positions of these disparate career groups is examined.
People who reside near to received blessings by making their livings from the Agano River, such as: transportation, the gathering of gravel, water for agricultural use, and the catching of fish. But in 1965 the fertile natural world was completely changed by organic mercury. Many people have suffered from pollution-related illnesses. Some of them are offcically acknowledged as victims of this hazardous element; others are not so recognized despite the fact that they have identical symptoms. This paper attempts to consider what Niigata Minamata Disease means to the regional community. I have found many concernd people attempting to develop a process of acceptance and overcoming whilst taking note of “occasion” and “relationship”.
In this paper, some properties of calls for emergency help is considered. The data sets are derived from the audio-taped telephone calls placed to a 119 dispatch center during the summer of 1994. For any hearer of the tapes or reader of the transcribed calls, it is ‘obvious’ that these are calls of emergency, yet, the question remains: How are they accomplished? This paper elucidates three main features of this talk. Firstly, in the topical opening of talk, the dispatch personnel ask the caller for the emergency category relevant to his or her needs, namely “Fire or Ambulance?”. Secondly, in the middle of the talk, both co-conversants confirm paticular relevancies of the emergency call, e.g., “Are there any injured persons?”. Thirdly, in the closing of talk, almost all the dispatchers announce that an emergency vehicle is on the way. Through such practices, members produce 119 talk into a call for help.