Social Quality in Cross-Cultural Media and Public Debates: Implications for Public Policy for Social Empowerment

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 9:45 AM
Room: Booth 53
Oral Presentation
Mutsuko TAKAHASHI , Graduate School of Social Welfare Stdies, Kibi International University, Okayama City, Japan
This research begins a discussion by examining distinctive features with Japanese discourse on quality of life addressed by decision-makers of public policy. It will be questioned how the media and public debates have addressed the safety and quality of life in post-3.11 Japan. The main focus of this research is on various ways of manifesting citizens’ well-being, including freedom from violence in private life, as a point of start of social empowerment. In the post 3.11 world it seems most important to take into consideration the intersectionality of various factors concerning social quality, whenever we attempt to seek proper public policy response for nurturing social empowerment. It will be studied which social indicators have been referred to and/or ignored by Japanese media, and in which manners non-Japanese media has been approaching the issues on well-being. In domestic debates Japanese media and governments tend to be selective with data sources and indicators, excluding substantial among of information on those risks and issues such as radiation risks, well-being of vulnerable citizens as well as transparency in decision-making, i.e. governance risk. In brief, this research will ultimately attempt to enhance our understanding on scientific relevance of comparative studies of social quality and empowerment.