Social Capital and Subjective Well-Being in Japan

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Abstract

This paper empirically examines how and what facets of social capital relate to one’s subjective well-being in Japan by using data from the Japan General Survey 2010. It further scrutinises whether the relationship between well-being and volunteering changes throughout one’s life course. The result reveals that social capital overall positively correlates with subjective well-being. It further suggests that trust and volunteering have a positive relation to one’s subjective well-being, whereas membership did not. It also became apparent that volunteering is associated with one’s subjective well-being differently depending on one’s life stage measured by age category such that volunteers in their 1950s are less happy than volunteers in their 1960s. The results of analysis therefore suggest that the relationship between volunteering and well-being is not straightforward, and that this issue requires even further investigation.

Résumé

Cet article empirique étudie les aspects du capital social liés au bien-être subjectif de la population au Japon, et comment, en utilisant des données de l’enquête générale du Japon de 2010. Il examine également si le lien entre le bien-être et le bénévolat est modifié au cours de la vie. Les résultats révèlent qu’il existe en général une corrélation positive entre le capital social et le bien-être subjectif. Ils suggèrent, en outre, que la confiance et le bénévolat ont un lien positif avec le bien-être subjectif, alors que le fait d’être membre n’en a pas. Il ressort également que le volontariat est associé au bien-être subjectif différemment en fonction du stade de la vie mesurée par catégorie d’âge, si bien que les bénévoles âgés de la cinquantaine sont moins heureux que les bénévoles dans la soixantaine. Les résultats de l’analyse suggèrent donc que la relation entre le bénévolat et le bien-être n’est pas simple et que cette question nécessite d’autres recherches.

Zusammenfassung

In diesem Beitrag wird anhand von Daten aus der 2010 in Japan durchgeführten allgemeinen Bevölkerungsumfrage eine empirische Untersuchung vorgenommen, um zu sehen, wie und welche Facetten des sozialen Kapitals in Verbindung mit dem subjektiven Wohlbefinden von Menschen in Japan stehen. Darüber hinaus wird geprüft, ob sich die Beziehung zwischen dem Wohlbefinden und einer ehrenamtlichen Tätigkeit im Verlauf des Lebens ändert. Das Ergebnis zeigt, dass das soziale Kapital insgesamt in einer positiven Wechselbeziehung zum subjektiven Wohlbefinden steht. Es weist ferner darauf hin, dass Vertrauen und eine ehrenamtliche Tätigkeit in einem positiven Verhältnis zum subjektiven Wohlbefinden einer Person stehen, während eine Mitgliedschaft dies nicht tat. Es war zudem zu erkennen, dass sich eine ehrenamtliche Tätigkeit je nach Lebensabschnitt in Abhängigkeit vom Alter unterschiedlich auf das subjektive Wohlbefinden einer Person auswirkt, nämlich dass Ehrenamtliche, die um die fünfzig Jahre alt sind, nicht so glücklich sind wie Ehrenamtliche um die sechzig Jahre. Die Ergebnisse der Analyse lassen somit erkennen, dass es sich bei der Beziehung zwischen einer ehrenamtlichen Tätigkeit und dem Wohlbefinden einer Person nicht um eine direkte Beziehung handelt, sondern weitere Untersuchungen erforderlich sind.

Resumen

El presente documento examina empíricamente cómo y qué facetas del capital social se relacionan con el bienestar subjetivo de cada uno en Japón utilizando datos de la Encuesta General de Japón de 2010. Examina también si la relación entre el bienestar y el voluntariado cambia a lo largo de la vida de cada uno. El resultado revela que el capital social en general se correlaciona de manera positiva con el bienestar subjetivo. Sugiere asimismo que la confianza y el voluntariado tienen una relación positiva con el bienestar subjetivo de cada uno, mientras que la pertenencia como miembro no lo tenía. También resultó evidente que el voluntariado se asocia al bienestar subjetivo de cada uno de manera diferente dependiendo de la etapa vital de cada uno medida por categoría de edad, de forma que los voluntarios con 50 años son menos felices que los voluntarios con 60. Los resultados del análisis sugieren, por consiguiente, que la relación entre el voluntariado y el bienestar no es directa, y que esta cuestión requiere todavía investigaciones adicionales.

摘要

本文采用《2010年日本整体调查》的数据,实证地调查了,在日本,社会资本在哪些方面、是如何与一个人的主观幸福感相联系的。本文进一步细致探究了幸福感与志愿服务之间的关系在一个人的整个生命历程中是否有所改变。结果表明,社会资本与主观幸福感呈整体正相关性。本文还显示,信任、志愿服务与一个人的主观幸福感呈正相关关系,而会员(制)则不然。由个人的不同生命阶段(按年龄分类)所决定的志愿服务与个人的主观幸福感之间的相关性差异也变得显而易见,如此说来,年龄为50~60岁的志愿者不会比年龄为60~70岁的志愿者更快乐。因此,分析的结果显示志愿服务与幸福感之间的关系并非是明确的,这一问题需要更进一步的调查。

要約

本論文は、日本版 General Social Surveys JGSS-2010のデータを使用して、ソーシャル・キャピタルを構成するそれぞれの要素が日本人の主観的幸福感にどのように影響しているのかを実証的に分析したものである。分析結果からは、概して ソーシャル・キャピタルは主観的幸福感と正の関係をもつことが明らかとなったが、組織への所属の有無と主観的幸福感の間には統計的には有意な関係は見られなかった。またボランティア活動への参加の有無については、年齢によって主観的幸福感との関係が異なり、50歳代のボランティア活動者は60歳代のボランティア活動者と比べて幸福ではないという分析結果が得られた。

ملخص

يدرس هذا البحث تجريبيا˝ كيف وماذا من جوانب رأس المال الإجتماعي ذات الصلة بالرفاهية الشخصية للمرء في اليابان بإستخدام بيانات من إستطلاع رأي عام في اليابان عام 2010. تدقق أبعد من ذلك إذا كانت العلاقة بين الرفاعية والعمل التطوعي تتغير خلال دورة حياة الشخص. النتيجة تكشف عن أن رأس المال الإجتماعي يرتبط عموما˝ بشكل إيجابي مع الرفاهية الذاتية. علاوة على ذلك تقترح أن الثقة والتطوع لديهما علاقة إيجابية على الرفاهية الشخصية للمرء ، في حين أن العضوية ليس لها علاقة. كما أصبح من الواضح أن العمل التطوعي يرتبط بالرفاهية الشخصية للمرء بشكل مختلف إعتمادا˝ على مرحلة حياة المرء تقاس حسب الفئة العمرية بحيث المتطوعين في عمر الخمسينات (50) هم أقل سعادة من المتطوعين في عمر الستينات(60). بالتالي تشير نتائج التحليل إلى أن العلاقة بين العمل التطوعي والرفاهية ليست واضحة، وأن هذه المسألة تتطلب حتى مزيد من التحقيقات.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    Membership in volunteer organisations is often used as one of the membership variables. Yet, an actual volunteering is less used in the context of social capital.

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Correspondence to Midori Matsushima.

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Matsushima, M., Matsunaga, Y. Social Capital and Subjective Well-Being in Japan. Voluntas 26, 1016–1045 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-015-9581-3

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Keywords

  • Social capital
  • Subjective well-being
  • Japan