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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
Jochi Kioizaka Bldg. 2F
7-1 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 102-0094, Japan
Tel: 03 – 3222 5198, Fax: 03 – 3222 5420


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The presentation will be given in English. The DIJ Social Science Study Group is a forum for young scholars and Ph.D. candidates in the field of Social Sciences. As always, all are welcome to attend, but please register with



Freeter and “Generation Praktikum” - Changing attitudes towards working life in Germany and Japan

18. April 2007 / 18:30

Carola Hommerich

In Japan as well as in Germany the cohort born between 1975 and 1985 increasingly faces a labour market of non-regular employment. How does the perception of this labour market environment influence this cohort’s attitudes towards work? Is it different from older cohorts? Do the attitudes towards work within the specified cohort
differ or are they coherent for Germany and Japan?

I argue that the individual perception of an increasing deregulation of the labour market and of rising numbers of unemployed trigger a change in estimations of one’s own professional future and a change in one’s attitude towards working life. In order to test this
hypothesis, I carried out qualitative interviews with possible “new” value groups in Japan and Germany in 2006. For Japan “freeter” were the target group, in Germany the focus was put on the “Generation Praktikum” (Generation Internship). The results of these qualitative interviews are the basis for a secondary analysis of quantitative value surveys such as the World Value Survey, the Japanese
Study of National Character and the German Socio-Economic-Panel. This quantitative analysis, which is currently under way, focuses on whether the “new” attitudes found in the qualitative
interviews can be verified for the cohort born between 1975 and 1985 and whether this change can be claimed as a cohort effect.

Carola Hommerich is a Ph.D. candidate in the Research Institute for
Sociology at the University of Cologne. She currently holds a research
scholarship at the DIJ.