A Sociology of Japanese Youth: From Returnees to NEETs
27 February 2012
6:00 – 7:00pm, followed by a drinks reception to 8:00pm
Daiwa Foundation Japan House
Organised by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation
Over the past thirty years, at the same time as Japan has produced a diverse set of youth cultures – such as animeand manga – 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.
This volume looks at some of the best-known of these problems, from the concern over the so-called returnee children (kikokushijo) in the 1970s, to the panic over young girls selling themselves for sex (enjo kōsai) in the 1980s, to the debates over physical punishment (taibatsu) and child abuse (jidō gyakutai) in the 1990s, to the most recent issues of young people shutting themselves away in their room (hikikomori) or appearing to withdraw completely from both the education and the labour market (NEETs).
Drawing on detailed empirical fieldwork, the authors set these issues in a clearly articulated ‘social constructionist’ framework that explains why particular youth problems appeared when they did and what lessons they can provide for the study of youth problems in other societies.
Professor Roger Goodman
Professor Roger Goodman is Nissan Professor of Modern Japanese Studies and Head of the Social Science Division at the University of Oxford. His case studies in this volume draw on two of his monographs: Japan’s International Youth: The Emergence of a New Class of Schoolchildren (Oxford University Press, 1990) and Children of the Japanese State: The Changing Role of Child Protection Institutions in Contemporary Japan (Oxford University Press, 2000).
Dr Yuki Imoto is Assistant Professor at Keio University, Japan, where she teaches English and social science methods. Her research interests lie in the social anthropology of education, language and childhood. She is currently writing a book on the emergence of ‘international’ preschools in urban Japan.
Dr Tuukka Toivonen is Junior Research Fellow at Green Templeton College, University of Oxford. He currently investigates Japanese young workers’ motivational processes, social entrepreneurship and related policies from a comparative angle. Tuukka is the author of Japan’s Emerging Youth Policy(Routledge, forthcoming) and an active member of his college’s “Future of Work” programme.