Who Feels Powerless? : An Examination on Self-Attitudes of Japanese Youth

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 9:00 AM
Room: F205
Oral Presentation
Yuki HONDA , The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Youth labor market in Japan has changed drastically since the beginnings of 1990s. It is often pointed out that both precarity and severity of work, the risk of poverty and social isolation have increased remarkably among Japanese youth. In order to forecast the future of Japanese society and to search for clues to break its deadlock, we need to grasp the precise trajectories and attitudes of young people.

Youth Cohort Study of Japan (YCSJ), a five-year longitudinal quantitative survey of young people in Japan, provides us abundant information which is beneficial to the purpose mentioned above. Using the YCSJ data, this analysis focuses on factors which affect self-attitudes, especially the sense of powerlessness and self-esteem of Japanese youth. The reason is that these attitudes are deeply related to agency and resiliency of young people, who is expected to rebuild the stalemated social structure.

Among numbers of axes which divide young people, most influential ones are gender, family SES, trajectories of transition from school to work, educational experience, regional mobility, workplace environment and social network. Through multivariate analysis, it is found out that there are remarkable differences both of levels and of factors concerning self-attitudes between men and women. The results imply that Japanese young men, including regular workers who have been thought to be advantageous compared to non-regular workers, feels more depressed than young women. The deterioration of labor condition since the early 1990s had much graver negative impact on Japanese men than women as the change of male-breadwinner norm has been far slower than that of the actualities.