Title

Urbanization and Rural Depletion in Modern Japan: An Analysis of Crime and Suicide Patterns

Keywords

urbanization, rural depletion, deviant behavior, Japan, suicide, crime rates

Abstract

In this paper, we examine a newly emerging pattern of relationships between trends in urbanization and rural depletion, and deviant behavior in modern Japanese society. Past research on this topic has focused primarily on social disorganization theory. It emphasizes the disruption of stable interpersonal ties and weakening of traditional social networks brought about by ecological shifts, resulting in increases in virtually all forms of deviant behavior. Focusing on suicide and crime rates in modern Japan, we propose that social disorganization is not necessarily synonymous with urbanization, and that different mechanisms should be employed to explain different forms of deviant behavior. Specifically, opportunity theory appears more appropriate for understanding some forms of urban criminal behavior, while a population depletion model is more useful for understanding suicide. Prefecture level data from Japan lend qualified support to this proposal. Implications both for modeling deviance in general, and for understanding modern Japanese society are discussed.

Original Publication Citation

Nomiya, Daishiro, Alan S. Miller, and John P. Hoffmann. 2000. “Urbanization and Rural Depletion in Modern Japan: An Analysis of Crime and Suicide Patterns.” International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice 24(1): 1-24.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2000

Publisher

International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Sociology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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