By Robert Stuart Yoder
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Extra info for Deviance and Inequality in Japan: Japanese Youth and Foreign Migrants
Nearly 50% of youth incarcerated compared to a national average of about 3% were from a single-parent family and the number of their families on welfare relief was about 12 times greater than the national average (Yonekawa, 2003, pp 115-18). A number of studies support Yonekawa’s findings (Rohlen, 1983; DeVos and Wagatsuma, 1984; Greenfield, 1993; Okano and Tsuchiya, 1999; Dubro and Kaplan, 2003;Yoder, 2004). Official youth crime rates (Penal Code offences, both major and minor offences) and adjudication resulting in being sent to youth reformatories are disproportionately high for concentrations of working-class (single-parent families, low family socioeconomic status, working-class areas, youth gangs and at low-ranked high schools) youth.
Class disadvantage clearly comes across in the case of single-parent families, the far majority of whom are single-parent mothers. Not only do they suffer economic hardship and usually have a low level of completed education, single parents are not at home to assist in their child’s education and their children are 31 Deviance and inequality in Japan highly over-represented among students at low-ranked high schools (Rohlen, 1983, p 130;Yoder, 2004; Spiri, 2007). The high costs of a college education with few available and of a low monetary value scholarships further discourages working-class families from investing in their child’s education (paying for juku or tutoring).
Class advantage in education shows itself very early, as children as young as three and four years old compete for entrance into costly elite pre-schools, which streamline students into expensive private schools, some all the way to college entrance. More commonly, parents pay for expensive after-school preparatory schools (juku) and private tutoring during their child’s elementary school days, enabling their child to gain admission into private expensive middle schools linked to the same high school or to prepare them for entrance into the best public high school.