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Kamikaze Biker

Parody and Anomy in Affluent Japan

In this firsthand account of high-risk car and motorcycle racing in Japan, Ikuya Sato shows how affluence and consumerism have spawned various experimental and deviant life-styles among youth. Kamikaze Biker offers an intriguing look at a form of delinquency in a country traditionally thought to be devoid of social problems.

"Ikuya Sato’s Kamikaze Biker is an exceptionally fine ethnographic analysis of a recurrent form of Japanese collective youth deviance. . . . Sato has contributed a work of value to a wide range of scholarly audiences."—Jack Katz, Contemporary Sociology

"A must for anyone interested in Japan, juvenile delinquency and/or youth behavior in general, or the impact of affluence on society."—Choice

"The volume provides a sophisticated . . . discussion of changes happening in Japanese society in the early 1980s. As such, it serves as a window on the 1990s and beyond."—Ross Mouer, Asian Studies Review

"Kamikaze Biker is a superlative study, one that might help liberate American social science from the simplistic notion that behavior not directly contributing to economic productivity should be summarily dismissed as ’dangerous’ and ’deviant.’ "—Los Angeles Times Book Review

296 pages | 23 line drawings, 10 halftones, 10 tables | 6 x 9 | © 1991

Asian Studies: East Asia

Culture Studies

Sociology: Social Psychology--Small Groups

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword, by Gerald D. Suttles
"Fun" in Doing Evil
Attraction Theory of Delinquency
The Text and the Context of "Play"
Part I. The Text of Play
1. Speeds and Thrills: Flow Experience in Boso Driving
What Is Boso Driving?
Why Do Bosozoku Join in Boso Driving?
Characteristics of Experience in Boso Driving
The Autotelic Nature of Boso Driving
Medatsu, Communitas, Flow
2. Fashion and Style: Meanings of Outrageous Paraphernalia
Why Do Bosozoku Use "Unnatural" Symbols?
Group Names
Costumes and Other Artifacts

3. Dramas and Dramatization: Bosozoku, the Saturday-Night Hero
Why Are Bosozoku So Preoccupied with Media Presentation?
The Media and Heroic Drama
Bosozoku as the Picaro
Bosozoku as the Koha
Bosozoku as Celebrity
Commercialization, Diffusion, and Stylization
Part II. The Natural History of Yankee Style
4. The Birth of the Yankee
Yankee and Bosozoku
Pride and Ambivalence in the Yankee Style
The Birth of the Yankee
"Action" and the Yankee
5. From Yankee to Bosozoku
Resources for Make-Believe Play
Metamorphosis and Group Process
6. From Yankee/Bosozoku to "Ordinary Citizen"
The Measles Theory of Bosozoku
Coercive Sanction
Age Norm
Commitment to Conventional Life
Part III. Context of Play
7. Through the Looking Glass
Bosozoku as a Mirror for Japanese Society

Youths’ Adventures in Wonderland
Folk Devils and Moral Panics
The Hunting of the Bosozoku
Conclusion: Parody and Anomy in Affluent Japan
Crime and Play
"Action" on the Street
Corruption of Play
Play and the Sacred
Parody and Anomy in the Affluent Society
A. Research Methods
B. Flow Interview Schedule
C. Questionnaire
D. Bosozoku Argot
Name Index
Subject Index

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