Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, Sociology, University of Missouri

Award Information

Abe Fellowship 2006
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Assistant Professor, Sociology, University of Missouri / Columbia
Race, Caste, and Minority Middle Class Formation: the Cases of African Americans and Japanese Buraku People

The three research problems posed by this study concerning the Buraku minority professional middle class are: 1) changes in employment patterns and opportunities in a segmented labor market (including the effects of Japanese Dowa education policies ); 2) changes in urban residential patterns, residential segregation, local institutions and community life (including Dowa housing policies ), and ; 3) the role of political and civic organizations (especially the Buraku Liberation League and the Liberal Party) and their effect on development and change in local and national Japanese Dowa policies since the 1950s. Several research questions arise from these interesting research problems . How have changes in Dowa policies challenged discrimination and affected the development of new employment opportunities for Buraku people? What role (if any) did this play in the process of middle class formation among the Buraku people? Are these middle class occupational opportunities comparable to or distinguishable from middle class opportunities among the general population ? How have Buraku communities changed in light of relevant Dowa policies (public housing, new infrastructure and buildings in the neighborhoods , etc.)? Do members of the new Buraku middle class still live in traditional Dowa areas? What is their relationship to poorer members of the Buraku community? How has BLL social movement strategy been "institutionalized"regarding Dowa policies and negotiation with political parties at the local and national levels? How have these strategies differed from civil rights organizations in the United States? What is the future of the Buraku identity and the BLL movement?