Dynamics of Ideology and Institution: Probable Scenarios for Changes in Beliefs about Gender and Family in Japan

Monday, 11 July 2016: 11:00
Location: Hörsaal 34 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Sigeto TANAKA, Tohoku University, Japan
This paper put forward a proposal for elaborating ideology analysis. In parallel with development of empirical analysis to specify causality in the real social phenomena, we should develop methods for analysis of ideology to explore dynamics of what we perceive and think about the real society. Using them in combination, we obtain a powerful tool to foresee the future.

This paper proposes a framework of ideology-institution dynamics with causal modeling (IIDCM). IIDCM defines ideology as a system of interdependent beliefs classified into three categories: beliefs about facts (how the society is), about ideals (how the society should be), and about norms (what we should do). A feedback cycle is assumed as follows. We have beliefs about facts based on our observations of society. We have also beliefs about ideals as criteria to evaluate whether the social condition is good or bad. Such criteria and beliefs about facts jointly justify a norm to realize a better society. If the norm is institutionalized, it determines people’s action and brings social outcomes. And if we observe the social outcomes through empirical analysis, it will make changes in our beliefs about facts.

IIDCM theorizes relationships among ideology, institution, and people’s action. We can write a scenario and select the cast to predict social changes, using IIDCM as a basic framework. This paper takes an example of fertility issue in Japan. Political responses to low fertility in Japan since late-1980s have been too conservative to set ideological changes about gender and family. However, facing the population shrinking, the government (and people) are now seriously recognizing the necessity of drastic social changes. We can write probable scenarios, with the framework of IIDCM, according to what policy will be selected and how public opinion will change hegemonic ideology related to gender and family. (See http://tsigeto.info/iidcm/ for details)