skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 136125 Find in a Library
Title: Everyday Justice: Responsibility and the Individual in Japan and the United States
Author(s): V L Hamilton; J Sanders
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 303
Sponsoring Agency: Yale University Press
New Haven, CT 06520
Publication Number: ISBN 0-300-05140-9
Sale Source: Yale University Press
92a Yale Station
New Haven, CT 06520
United States of America
Type: Survey (Cross-Cultural)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Drawing on the results of surveys conducted in Detroit, Mich., and Yokohama and Kanazawa, Japan, this book compares both individual and cultural reactions to wrongdoing.
Abstract: The survey provided respondents with hypothetical stories, and they were asked to assess responsibility and assign punishment for the parties in the stories. The initial survey in Detroit was a 1977 probability sample of the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area (678). Detroit respondents were also asked to complete a mailback questionnaire that included additional vignettes as well as attitudes about such issues as reasons for imprisonment. The questionnaire was completed and returned by 50 percent of the overall sample (339). The first Japanese survey was a 1978 probability sample of 600 Yokohama residents. An additional probability sample survey was conducted in Kanazawa with 640 residents in 1979. The study found that decisions about justice were influenced by whether or not there was an apparent social relationship between the offender and victim. The American tendency was to see actors in isolation, and the Japanese tendency was to view them in relation to others. The Japanese, who emphasized the importance of role obligations and social ties, meted out punishment with the intent of restoring the offender to the social network. Americans, who acknowledge fewer social ties and have firmer convictions that evil resides in individuals, punished wrongdoers by isolating them from the community. The book explores the implications of these diverse views of justice. Appended questionnaires, chapter notes, 460 references, and author and subject indexes
Main Term(s): Public Opinion of Corrections; Public Opinion of Crime
Index Term(s): Japan; US/foreign comparisons; Victim-offender relationships
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.