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  • Author or Editor: Richard Ronald x

Emerging Adulthood Transitions in Japan

The Role of Marriage and Housing Careers

Richard Ronald and Misa Izuhara

Post-war Japanese adulthood derived from a hegemonic framework in which young people formed home-owning family households featuring “salary-men” and female-homemakers. Since the 1980s, however, along with prolonged economic downturn, Japanese adult transitions have become increasingly fragmented and non-linear. A growing concern has been the social, economic and ontological individualisation of younger adults, resulting in a phenomenal decline in partnering and marriage, on the one hand, and sharp increases in young people either staying on in the natal home or living alone, on the other. This paper begins by examining the wider context of recent unravelling in marriage and family formation before going on to consider the case of Japan in more detail. While dominant understandings of contemporary transitions into adulthood focus on “delay”, socioeconomic decline since the bursting of the economic bubble in the 1990s has undermined transitions into adulthood in Japan more substantially. Specifically, while many existing studies address labour market transitions among younger generations, we focus on the interaction of marriage and housing careers which play particularly important roles. Our analysis thereby contributes to both understanding of social contingencies that shape adult transitions and the role of housing and marriage markets, together, in mediating the attainment of full adulthood.

Richard Young, Ronald Lesperance and W. Weston Meyer

Ronald O. Goldthwaite, Donald H. Owings and Richard G. Coss


Arctic ground squirrels (Spermophilus parryii ablusus) have been free from snake predation for about 3 million years. To evaluate the effects of this prolonged relaxation of natural selection, lab-born Arctic ground squirrels were compared to snake-inexperienced California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi fisheri) from a habitat where rattlesnake and gopher snake predation is intense. Their behavior was video taped during 10-min encounters with a Pacific gopher snake (Pituophis melanoleucus catenifer) in a seminatural above-ground setting and in an artificial burrow. In separate trials, a domesticated Norway rat was used as a control for the effects of encountering a novel animate object; this rat was enclosed in a slowly moving opaque nylon bag above ground but was allowed to move freely below ground. No evidence was found that, after prolonged relaxed selection from snakes, Arctic ground squirrels retained the specialized behavioral antisnake defenses evident in California ground squirrels. Although we originally hypothesized that the more constrained burrow context might limit the evolutionary dissipation of behavioral antisnake defenses, we found no evidence of a more intact system in Arctic squirrels below than above ground. Arctic squirrels used many of the same general kinds of motor patterns as California squirrels, but in ways that failed to differentiate the gopher snake from the rat in either above- or below-ground contexts. In contrast, the California squirrels tail flagged only in the presence of the snake above ground and differentially applied substrate-throwing at the snake and rat burrow intruders, harassing the snake more than twice as much as the rat. Above ground, California ground squirrels were more conservative toward both adversaries than Arctic ground squirrels were, keeping their distance and therefore experiencing fewer noxious consequences, such as snake strikes. However, this result was context dependent. Below ground, California ground squirrels were more willing than Arctic ground squirrels to approach and harass both burrow intruders. Although repeated striking evoked occasional snake-directed substrate throwing above ground, Arctic ground squirrels never threw substrate at the snake in the burrow. In comparison with California ground squirrels, Arctic ground squirrels appear to enter their first gopher snake encounter with both a much lower assessment of the risk involved and less clearly defined knowledge about how to deal with these risks. We conclude that 3 million years of genetic drift has altered the cognitive system structuring the meaning of snakes to Arctic ground squirrels in various settings.

Ronald P. Gruber, Ryan P. Smith and Richard A. Block

Flow and passage of time puzzles were analyzed by first clarifying their roles in the current multidisciplinary understanding of time in consciousness. All terms ( flow, passage, happening, becoming) are carefully defined. Flow and passage are defined differently, the former involving the psychological aspects of time and the latter involving the evolving universe and associated new cerebral events. The concept of the flow of time (FOT) is deconstructed into two levels: (a) a lower level ― a perceptual dynamic flux, or happening, or flow of events (not time); and (b) an upper level ― a cognitive view of past/present/future in which the observer seems to move from one to the other. With increasing evidence that all perception is a discrete continuity provided by illusory perceptual completion, the lower-level FOT is essentially the result of perceptual completion. The brain conflates the expression flow (passage, for some) of time with experiences of perceptual completion. However, this is an illusory percept. Converging evidence on the upper-level FOT reveals it as a false cognition that has the illusory percept of object persistence as its prerequisite. To research this argument, an experiment that temporarily removes the experience of the lower-level FOT might be conducted. The claustrum of the brain (arguably the center of consciousness) should be intermittently stimulated to create a scenario of discrete observations (involving all the senses) with long interstimulus intervals of non-consciousness and thereby no perceptual completion. Without perceptual completion, there should be no subjective experience of the lower-level FOT.