The Transformation Of Self-Consciousness In Japanese Youth: From 1992 To 2012

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 6:04 PM
Room: F204
Oral Presentation
Tomokazu MAKINO , Japan Society Promotion of Science, Japan
Japan’s economy entered a long period of stagnation, known as the ‘Lost Two Decade,’ after reaching its peak in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In this period, many politicians, business person, and intellectuals criticized Japanese youth: tending to lose their temper with the darkness of mind, chasing their unplanned dream without regular jobs, and not leaving their nests. Critics also told fragile about the self-consciousness of Japanese youth. But we can get another figure of Japanese youth from the outcome of the research of Japan Youth Study Group, conducted in 1992, 2002, and 2012. For instance, most Japanese youth love themselves, and feel senses of themselves. They are anything but fragile. By the way, one of the merit of comparison of three or more time point is that we can distinguish between temporary trend and long-term trend. For example, the ratio of respondents of feeling sense of oneself has declined by degrees from 1992 to 2012. The ratio of keeping one’s individuality in any situation has declined too. And the ratio of changing oneself depending on the situation, and engaging in superficiality has increased from 2002 to 2012. These means long-term trend of diversification of the self. On the other hand, the ratio of loving oneself had increased from 1992 to 2002, but has decreased from 2002 to 2012 (temporary trend). What causes for these? We can consider two matters. First, the cultural-social change underpinning long-term trend, for instance, the diffusion of mobile media and social network service accelerating the diversification of the self. Also, we need consider what happened in 2002 (about temporary trend). We try to explain the structure of self-affirmation by comparing the determinant and related item of self-affirmation on each year. Finally, we discuss the effect of intertemporal research on public opinion in Japan.