社会的排除とのつきあい方: 日本の児童養護施設における臨床心理学と文化人類学の連携(<特集>社会的排除/包摂の人類学)

Translated title of the contribution: A Way of Relating to Social Exclusion: Solidarity between Cultural Anthropology and Clinical Psychology against Abuse in Japanese Child Protection Institutions(<Special Theme>Anthropology of Social Exclusion/Inclusion in a Global Context)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

<p>This article shares our experience of solidarity with clinical psychologists against abuse in Japanese institutions for child protection. In Japan, the number of consultations at child guidance centers has increased 55 times since 1990 (according to the latest report of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare). Despite the highly significant increase over that two-decade period, some sociologists have criticized the abuse discourse, alleging that it shifts people's attention from social conditions to psychological problems. In that context, child protection institutions in Japan have seen the greatest number of children requiring aid. Those children were socially excluded for many reasons, including child abuse and neglect. In recent years, cultural anthropologists have directed their attention toward socially problematic issues under neoliberal policies through the sub-disciplines of applied anthropology, practical anthropology, and public anthropology. For example, some researchers studying social exclusion have become concerned with violence in Japanese institutions for child protection. However, even after many discussions and much research, a viable method is rarely presented for intervening in the chain of three types of two kinds of violence - (covert and overt) violence by staff members toward children, between children, and by children toward staff members. In this paper, the author first outlines the institution of Japanese child protection according to statistical reports and articles from the fields of social welfare, clinical psychology, social anthropology, and sociology. In this research, it was confirmed that the approximately 30,000 children in Japanese child protection institutions were socially excluded not just in their original homes, but also where they live now. In fact, statistics reveal that in some urban areas in Japan, approximately 10% of homeless people had come from child protection institutions. Readers may be surprised to discover that just 0.14% of Japanese children below the age of 18 live in such institutions. Consequently, we focus on the chain of the three types of two kinds of violence (covert and overt) violence in Japanese foster homes, because treating all types of violence is essential both for creating a safe and secure childcare environment and for ending the cycle of social exclusion. Second, the paper discusses how a clinical psychologist, Seiichi Tajima, has been involved in the problem of violence in Japanese child protection institutions. He discerned the problem and began collaborating with field researchers in cultural anthropology, forming solid professional relationships with researchers in several fields, child guidance centers in each prefecture, top management levels of private child protection institutions, and their staff members. The paper discusses how he has worked to develop solutions to violence in such institutions. This author and a partner, Io Hiroyuki, participated in and supported Tajima's project, performing ethnographic fieldwork and sharing weekly feedback reports. In 2006, that research helped initiate and implement the first stage of establishing a safety committee aiming to curtail all types of violence in child protection institutions. By the end of 2006, such safety committees were introduced in 12 institutions and were evaluated positively. Further, since 2009, we have held three national conferences on the safety committees. In 2010, the Child Welfare Act added new conditions, particularly Article 33, Items 10-17, which define abuse in those institutions, including violence between children. Now each municipality must take responsibility for such institutional abuse, with 15 institutions in eight municipalities attempting to prevent violence through safety committees. Finally, we present our way of relating to social exclusion following cultural anthropology under neoliberal policies,</p><p>(View PDF for the rest of the abstract.)</p>
Original languageJapanese
Pages (from-to)273-293
Number of pages21
Journal文化人類学
Volume77
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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