Political Participation and Procedural Utility from a Gender Perspective: Activities in Neighborhood Associations in Japan

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 11:00 AM
Room: Booth 53
Oral Presentation
Tim TIEFENBACH , Business & Economics Section, German Institute for Japanese Studies, Tokyo, Japan
Phoebe HOLDGRÜN , Social Science Section, German Institute for Japanese Studies, Tokyo, Japan
Political participation and participation in the community is often associated with higher levels of reported subjective happiness, but in the case of Japan a negative correlation between activities in neighborhood associations among female members was found by Tiefenbach and Kohlbacher (2013). The current study uses data gained from an online monitor survey (n=1600) conducted in September 2013 throughout Japan to get a better understanding of the relationship between happiness and participation in the community. A special emphasis is put on the sources of procedural utility (competence, autonomy and relatedness) as well as on voluntariness and loneliness as moderators and mediators of the effects of participation on happiness. Preliminary results suggest that participation in the community leads to higher or lower levels of happiness depending whether it is conducted voluntarily or not. In either case, participation leads to lower levels of loneliness, which in return has a positive effect on happiness. Finally, the sources of procedural utility can be linked to higher levels of happiness, but significant gender differences can be observed.