Project Objectives

Because of the shifts in Japan’s labor market as well as the rapidly aging society with a declining birthrate, the environment and the institutions surrounding us have been drastically transformed. Given the transformation, our lifestyles and social consciousnesses are also changing. Nonetheless, despite all the social changes, there are some aspects of our lifestyles, customs, and norms that have been maintained.

In order to adequately understand these social aspects, we need time series research which allows us to compare the same subjects at different time points, and such a research is conducted through a panel surveys.

Existing research have largely been conducted through a cross-sectional survey based on a single time point. By repeating such a survey with a detailed plan, it is possible to explore major social changes to some extent; however, there is an issue that the subjects differ in each survey. It is thus difficult to grasp accurate causal relationship between incidents or social/economic transformation and changes in people’s actions and perceptions.

Instead, by conducting panel surveys based on the same subjects and tracing changes of their actions and perceptions over time, we can properly identify, on the one hand, what kinds of factors affect people’s choices and, on the other hand, by what kind of social/economic environments people are affected.

The collapse of Japanese-style employment practices and the economic recession have changed the conditions surrounding our lives through, such as, the transfers from schools to work places, the increase of working women, and the aging society with a declining birthrate.

That said, how much do the social changes actually relate to people’s actions and choices, and to what extent do these changes lead to alternation of people’s perceptions on values?

Answering these questions is highly meaningful not only for generating academic discussions but also for thinking of effective policies relating to these issues.

Based on the objectives, the Institute of Social Science carries out the panel surveys focusing on three categories: the youth, the middle-aged, and the high school graduates.

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