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Modernization, Social Stress and Emigration

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It has been suggested in this paper that where one's expectations are not adequately met in response to the modernization process, a social stress condition would result. It was noted that stress conditions will vary from individual to individual and furthermore, that individual response to the stress condition will also be varied. Several aspects of the individual responses to the stress conditions were described as they emerged as patterns of response from the multidimensional scalogram analyses of questionnaire data. The three most predominant patterns of response were stress situations based upon interpersonal relations in the work environment, tensions associated with the extremely competitive nature of the Japanese education system, and dissatisfaction with both the social and natural environs of Japan. The range of social and cultural stress factors noted as reasons for migrating out of the stress producing environment has been provided. As noted earlier, soliciting the reasons for migrating from a sample of those who had emigrated to Canada may provide a highly biased sample. For future research, it is suggested that a study of those Japanese who had been abroad and who had successfully readjusted to the Japanese social setting be conducted to provide a sounder basis for our generalizations concerning modernization, social stress, and emigration. The findings by Karsh and Cole (1968: 53_55) that rapid technological change in Japan did indeed produce numerous forms of tension provide support for the causal link between modernization and social stress. It remains for a further study to assess more adequately the individual responses to the social stress conditions in Japan and the hierarchy of factors considered prior to the decision to emigrate or not to emigrate.

Affiliations: 1: University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada


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