Original Article: Katei kankyo to noryoku keisei no katei. 2008. Shakaigaku hyoron 59: 514–531.
Family Background and the Process of Ability Formation*
Article first published online: 4 JUN 2012
© 2012 The Author. International Journal of Japanese Sociology © 2012 The Japan Sociological Society
International Journal of Japanese Sociology
Special Issue: Theoretical Explorations in Contemporary Japanese Sociology
Volume 23, Issue 1, pages 125–139, March 2014
How to Cite
Okabe, S. (2014), Family Background and the Process of Ability Formation. International Journal of Japanese Sociology, 23: 125–139. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6781.2012.01168.x
Translation by Philip Flavin.
- Issue published online: 4 MAR 2014
- Article first published online: 4 JUN 2012
- Received 20 December 2011; accepted 6 January 2012.
- family/extra-familial communication;
- social independence
This paper takes a sociometric approach to the process of skills formation in children as they mature into adults. Honda suggests that meaningful communication with family as a child is the determining factor that raises those abilities (ability β1) that fall outside of scholastic aptitude – motivation, personal relations skills, personality, and emotions. Along with considering the results of Honda's thesis, I have constructed an operating hypothetic model that includes two additional factors: the financial state of the family during childhood, and the transition of the communication target from within the family to a target outside the family. The data for this investigation were then verified. From the results, the direct effect of the observed family communication, when isolated from other influencing variables in the formation of abilities β, is not as decisive a factor as Honda emphasized. It was clear that the financial status of the family played a role, as did the indirect results of the intermediary shift from communication within the family to outside the family (the process of children becoming socially independent). The results of this analysis show that we should not necessarily be looking for the decisive factors of abilities β within the family; if anything, it reflects the existence of a formative route for abilities β that capitalizes on the resources outside the family. Based on the above, the results also show the potential for the introduction of social intervention to address the disparity and inequality in skills formation, and the possible anticipation of more rationality in the overblown discourse surrounding the role of the family in facilitating educational ability.