4151 American and Japanese Perspectives on Sociology of Law

WG Social and Legal Systems

Room: C5.01


Chair: Shozo Ota | The University of Tokyo


Discussant: Jose Alberto Miranda

Jessica Cooper | Cornell University

Giving Up: Political Potentials Beyond the State




What might it mean for an institution of punishment to “give up” on those in its grips? Based on two years of ethnographic fieldwork in mental health courts in the United States, this paper asks how to understand the failure of the carceral state to control state subjects. Mental health courts are novel criminal courtrooms that aspire to move criminal offenders with psychiatric diagnoses, whom the courts call “clients,” out of jails and into community mental health programs. Rather than merely outsource mental health care, mental health courts employ clinical and legal specialists who collaborate to provide care through the courtroom. In these spaces, care and punishment are functionally equivalent: incarceration is used as a therapeutic tool, therapeutic contracts are backed by criminal law such that deviation from medical advice can be legally sanctioned, and the courts marshal technologies of punishment and care to achieve indistinguishable ends. In contrast to scholarship that suggests the institutional intersectionality of psychiatry and law in mental health courts intensifies the power of the state, I suggest that the state’s dual commitments to care and punish avail new sites of fragility on the part of the state and generate new resources for clients to resist state power. I feature the implosion of institutional infrastructure under competing imperatives to reveal limits, rather than intensifications, of power in spaces of care and punishment. 

Hironao Kaneko | Tokyo Institute of Technology

Technology succession in high aging society and law; openly or exclusively


Full Paper




Technology-succession, to succeed the skill or knowledge of the skilled engineer and craftsman, is indispensable for the sustainable society where people and society can maintain the industry or the culture etc. In the super aging society, it is difficult to find the person wish to succeed.
Technology-succession needs both succession of technology and knowledge that has not documented from the skilled engineer or craftsman to the younger generation.
It becomes not only the problem of traditional craftwork but also the problem of the manufacturing industry.
One of the reason of the difficulty of technology-succession person to person is changing of employment system. Competition between companies sometimes cause the restructuring and ferment of the skilled worker because of saving wage.
The failure of technology-succession means not the loss of unnecessary technology but the result of impossibility of succeeding the technology.
The trial to solve the difficulty of technology-succession by technology itself. For example, to save the knowledge of the skilled engineer and craftsman by making video, and A.I. Artificial Intelligence studies the series of action by them and save the data to operate the machine. However, the technology simulation of skilled work using technology is not succession of the person-to-person technology succession among the generations.
Intellectual property protection of the technology plays some roles about technology-succession. The publication the claim of the patent is one of the documentation of the technology to share by the public.
On the other hands, the skilled engineer's technology is trade secrets that cannot be documented, and is contradict to undocumented technology by the structure of the intellectual property law system centering on the patent. About trade secrets, because the use of trade secret is restricted, it may lack the incentive of collection of investment.
At the same time, broad usage of the Internet that enables any people to publish their skill to the public and to share technology with those who have the interest.
In this paper, the author examines the useful technology-succession proposing two methods, the escrow of technology to keep the confidentiality and the sharing technology as a kind of Creative Commons using the Internet.

Toshiyuki Kusumoto | University of Tokyo

A Possible Social Security Law Policy for the Purpose of the Improvement of Social Exclusion of Non-regular Employees in Japan




In Japan, the number of non-regular employees has recently much increased. Generally, the labor conditions of non-regular employees are of poorer quality and more unstable than those of regular employees. Such labor conditions often force them to be resigned to relatively low status in companies and to be socially excluded. According to prior related literature with regard to social security law policy, companies in Japan have expanded the use of non-regular employees, who are not legally given the qualification of the insured, for the purpose of cost reduction, partly because of the existence of employers’ share of social insurance premiums. From this viewpoint, we can think in Japan that the safety nets by the present social security cannot necessarily contribute to social inclusion of non-regular employees, and that the present situation,where many non-regular employees are socially excluded, can be improved through a certain new social security law policy with regard to employers’ share of social insurance premiums. Nevertheless, there are few studies that try to think about how to improve this situation in Japan. Then, in order to fill this gap in the existing research and improve this situation to realize social inclusion, this study forms a hypothesis as follows: a social security law policy that makes the legal qualification of the insured open, and that properly considers companies’ economical activities that are indispensable to the maintenance of employment by means of the reduction of employers’ share of social insurance premiums at the same time, can improve social exclusion of non-regular employees without decreasing the quantity of employment. In order to test this hypothesis, this study conducts questionnaire surveys on non-regular employees and companies. Then, this study statistically shows how both non-regular employees’ social situations and companies’ behaviors change when the hypothetical social security law policy is enforced, thus indicating objectively how the hypothetical social security law policy can improve social exclusion of non-regular employees in Japan.



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