The aim of this study is, through a secondary analysis of the number of child abuse reports filed with children’s welfare centers, to examine activities to prevent child abuse in Japan. The number of cases of child abuse, filed in 47 prefectures and 12 ordinance-designed major cities, can be analyzed by focusing on the regional differences among them. Adopting the perspective of social constructionism, this study regards the number of child abuse reports as a rate of discovery rather than incidence, and analyzes the differences between urban areas and rural ones through some variables. The main findings can be summarized as follows. (1) Especially since the latter half of the 1990s, urban areas have been carrying out activities to prevent child abuse (in this study, termed “child abuse discovery activities”), and all areas have been converging on an average discovery rate. (2) In urban areas, new types of child abuse (sexual abuse, emotional/psychological maltreatment, and neglect) were discovered a few years later than physical maltreatment. In 2001, the first whole year when child abuse prevention law was put into force, all types of maltreatment were discovered relatively higher in urban areas. (3) Neighbors, acquaintances/friends and medical facilities have been discovering child maltreatment in urban areas significantly and particularly in 2001 most urban public organizations have higher rate significantly. In Japan, child abuse is often discussed in the context of contemporary and urban ways of life, such as “the weakening of local bonds and blood relationships,” “increase in nuclear families” and “psychological troubles arising in the course of growth and development.” However, as stated above, since the latter half of 1990s, urban areas have been the forerunners of child abuse prevention activities in Japan. Therefore, the way of life in urban areas cannot be identified as a causal factor of child abuse. Rather, the great interest that urban people, medical facilities and public organizations have in child abuse is behind the incidence of “abuse” in urban areas.
In this article, I would like to propose a new perspective in studies of the cognitive process of social categories, and then analyze the cognition of one particular social category, “Japanese,” by applying that perspective. Social categories are socially constructed cognitive frameworks for identifying others (including observers themselves) and classifying them into social groups. Social categories are, as it were, “ethno methods” in the sense that we implicitly share them and use them to identify others in everyday life. However, there has been little use of rigorous analytical methods for understanding social categories.
The cognitive process of social categories can be regarded as the process of reduction of information as to others. In this article, I will suggest that the cognitive process of social categories can be well described by Boolean analysis as the process of reduction of information.
I will analyze the difference and distribution among people of the cognition of a social category, “Japanese.” Of course, there is a legal definition of Japanese, that is, Japanese are people having Japanese nationality. However, there seems to be a gray zone in distinguishing between Japanese and non-Japanese at the cognitive level in everyday life. For example, are naturalized immigrants regarded as Japanese? How about non Japanese speakers? The question then becomes: what kind of person has what kind of definition of “Japanese,” that is, cognition of “Japanese”? To answer this question, I will use Boolean analysis to analyze a data set taken from an exploratory survey of images of “Japanese.”
cross-national research; families in middle and later life; intergenerational transfers;parent – child relations; reciprocity; transition to adulthood
This study investigated how early, “on-time,” and late home leavers differed in their relations to parents in later life. A life course perspective suggested different pathways by which the time spent in the parental home may set the stage for intergenerational solidarity in aging families. Using fixed-effects models with data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (N = 14,739 parent – child dyads), the author assessed the effects of previous coresidence on intergenerational proximity, contact frequency, and support exchange more than 5 years after children had left home. The results indicated that, compared with siblings who moved out “on time,” late home leavers lived closer to their aging parents, maintained more frequent contact, and were more likely to be providers as well as receivers of intergenerational support. Overall, this evidence paints a positive picture of extended coresidence, revealing its potential to promote intergenerational solidarity across the life course.
home leaving; home returning; National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997; transition to adulthood
Young adults commonly exit from and return to the parental home, yet few studies have examined the motivation behind these exits and returns using a life course framework. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, the authors examined associations between mental health problems and economic characteristics and exits from (n = 8,162) and returns to (n = 6,530) the parental home during the transition to adulthood. The average age of the respondents was 24 years. The authors found evidence that mental health and economic characteristics were related to home leaving and returning. Emotional distress was associated with earlier exits from and returns to the parental home; alcohol problems were associated with earlier returns to the parental home. The findings regarding economic resources were unexpectedly mixed. Greater economic resources were linked to delayed exits from and earlier returns to the parental home. The implications of these findings for young adults are discussed.