From Analysis of Ijime (Bullying) in Japanese Schools to Constructing Theories of Psycho-Social Orders

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 8:45 AM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Asao NAITO , Meiji University, Tokyo, Japan
In this paper, we examine ijime (bullying) in Japanese schools and, so doing, propose hypotheses about the basis of wholesome civil society. Japanese (especially middle) school adopts the extreme groupism, which forces all people involved to live a highly controlled collective life in a totalitarian and closed environment. It denies not only the civil liberty but also the civil society order that ensures the liberty outside of it. This provides us with the functional equivalent of Philip Zimbardo’s experiment in which he analyzes how human beings are transformed, and what reality and psycho-social order are generated among members under certain conditions, though this kind of experiment is now prohibited from an ethical viewpoint of research. Bullying can be observed in almost any school in the world but the Japanese bullying, ijime, deserves close examinations for those particular conditions that Japanese schools force on the students. Many cases of ijime can be ascribed to the psycho-social order imposed on the students’ everyday life in the classroom. Examining the psycho-social mechanisms that accompany the order above, we can abstract the basic theories about violent and persecutory psycho-social properties of human beings (e. g. various psycho-social explanatory models, ecological models of psycho-social orders, and combination of them with evolutionary theories), which are potentially applicable to various types of violent and persecutory phenomena among human beings. We can expect several outcomes of this study: (1) Psycho-social analysis of and countermeasures against the bullying in school; (2) Several findings about psycho-social orders where dense interactions within groups bring about inner changes of individuals, which leads to violent and persecutory psycho-social orders—these processes loop spirally ; (3) Based on the aforementioned outcomes, a framework for countermeasures against violence and persecution from domestic violence to genocide as well as for the stable liberal civil society.