This study group is based on the following two separate talks which will be held consecutively
Do the Changes of the Japanese Society Bring Happiness?
Examination of the Effect of Individualism from Cultural Psychology
Yuji Ogihara (Graduate School of Education, Kyoto University)
Japanese society, which had traditionally been considered as collectivistic, has become more individualistic than before due to the influence of globalization. Focusing on the negative effects of individualism, this talk analysis how such changes affect the Japanese psyche and behavior. First, we will show that Japanese society has become more individualistic (from the 1960s to the present) and that such changes were related to a decrease in well-being. Second, we will demonstrate that people with an individualistic orientation have fewer close friends, which too is associated with lower levels of well-being. Finally, we will suggest that Japanese people perceive the image of individualism itself as negative. In conclusion, we will discuss how cultural change affects the human psyche and behavior.
Collective properties of well-being and cooperative action in Japan:
Based on interpersonal relationships within community
Shintaro Fukushima, (Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University)
In this presentation we will show that interpersonal relationships within a community, and not social relationships beyond a community, construct the collective properties of well-being and cooperative action. The analysis is based on a survey to households of all of the 441 communities in Kyoto prefecture (N = 32,685). To differentiate between interpersonal relationships within a community and social relationships beyond a community, “community trust” and “general trust” were adopted as indicators. The results are summarized as follows. (1) Community trust was formed as a group norm at a collective level while general trust was formed as a personal characteristic at the individual level. (2) Community trust, and not general trust, was related to well-being at the individual level. (3) While general trust was related to cooperation at the individual level, community trust was associated with cooperation at the collective level. Japan is considered to be a collectivistic country. Our results indicate that the Japanese type of collectivism is rather based on interpersonal relationships within a community than on social relationships beyond a community.