A Sociology of Japanese Youth
From Returnees to NEETs
Edited by Roger Goodman, Yuki Imoto, Tuukka Toivonen
Routledge – 2012 – 216 pages
Over the past thirty years, whilst Japan has produced a diverse set of youth cultures which have had a major impact on popular culture across the globe, it has also developed a succession of youth problems which have led to major concerns within the country itself. Drawing on detailed empirical fieldwork, the authors of this volume set these issues in a clearly articulated ‘social constructionist’ framework, and put forth a sociology of Japanese youth problems which argues that there is a certain predictability about the way in which these problems are discovered, defined and dealt with.
The chapters include case studies covering issues such as:
Returnee children (kikokushijo)
Compensated dating (enjo kosai)
Corporal punishment (taibatsu)
Child abuse (jido gyakutai)
The withdrawn youth (hikikomori) and
NEETs (not in education, employment or training)
By examining these various social problems collectively, A Sociology of Japanese Youth explains why particular youth problems appeared when they did and what lessons they can provide for the study of youth problems in other societies.
This book will be of huge interest to students and scholars of Japanese society and culture, the sociology of Japan, Japanese anthropology and the comparative sociology of youth studies.
"This superb collection of essays presents a social constructionist analysis of why youth problems erupt when they do and how they evolve. This is an exceptionally well-written book that is destined to become a classic in Japanese studies and is a truly collaborative effort that benefits from a high degree of dialogue between the authors." - Jeff Kingston, Temple University Japan; The Japan Times, Sunday, May 20, 2012
"The approach adopted in this book is unique… A characteristic of this book that has not been seen in others is that it delves into the public discourse that explains youg people." - Yuji Genda, University of Tokyo; Journal of Japanese Studies 39.1, 2013.
1. Making Sense of Youth Problems, Tuukka Toivonen and Yuki Imoto 2. From Pitiful to Privileged? The Fifty Year Story of the Changing Perception and Status of Japan’s Returnee Children (kikokushijo), Roger Goodman 3. Narratives and Statistics: How Compensated Dating (enjo kōsai) Was Sold, Sharon Kinsella 4. Taibatsu: From Educational Solution to Social Problem to Marginalized Non-Issue, Aaron Miller 5. The ‘Discovery’ and ‘Rediscovery’ of Child Abuse (jidō gyakutai) in Japan, Roger Goodman 6. Hikikomori: How Private Isolation Caught the Public Eye, Sachiko Horiguchi 7. NEETs: The Strategy within the Category, Tuukka Toivonen 8. Shifting Landscapes: The Social Context of Youth Problems in an Ageing Nation, Roger Goodman
Roger Goodman is Nissan Professor of Modern Japanese Studies and Head of the Social Science Division at the University of Oxford, UK.
Yuki Imoto is a Research Associate at Keio University, Japan.
Tuukka Toivonen is a Junior Research Fellow at Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, UK.