In early 19th century, number of theories of sociology came forward. There are many known sociologists who established these theories. For the study of social perspective of corruption in the society of Japan, different areas need to be explored, as corruption does not prevail in one area, it covers the masses and continues to grow in the environment when there is existence of social classes. Emergence of corruption in Japan has a great effect from the political, social and economical condition of the society. Corruption in a society prevails by societal culture and structure. Corruption in the form of bribes and power, directly and in directly present in all the departments and area of not only in Japan, but in other developed and developing countries also. It originates due to the self-interest, ravenousness, materialism, egotism, and cruelty among the members of different social classes. For the study and analysis of corruption, the growth of society, type of life, behavior of people, relationships of people in the society, customs and tradition should be considered as the factors. The sociological perspective covers the areas of development of social life, social relationships of individuals, groups and institutions. There are many theories regarding the sociology of the society.
For the study of Corruption through sociological theories two theories by Karl Marx (1818-1883), socialism and conflict theory (Martindale, 1960) and C. Wright Mills (1916-1961), Power Elite Conflict Theory explains the societal corruption (Kendall, 2000).
Karl Marx Theory
One of the classical sociological theorists of the 19th and 20th century was Karl Marx. He explained through his theory that human cultural values are important for a society. He explains that power and money shapes the social structure through developing the struggle among the classes to attain the best. According to his believe the urge of attaining wealth and power not only bring a negative aspect of society but the positive side also emerges only if the class’s difference of upper and lower is put on an end and if there are equality and inclusiveness in the society. He laid importance that the materialism and power make the differences in the society, these differences than come out in the form of urge and availing the right and wrong opportunities by the people. He showed materialistic view of the history that people earn for food, shelter, home, and clothing and works for their living. This struggle shapes up the social structure of the society by creating the labors and owners. These two divisions of people create the differences as the owners gain profit but pay less to the labor than the worth of the work, which leads to exploitation of the society. This exploitation further brings political domination creating classes in power who are economically strong and so gain the power of controlling the country (Campbell, 981).
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C. Wright Mills theory
According to the American Sociologist, C Wright Mills, “People who have lots of power, are in position to make decision having major consequences” (Stephens, Leach, Jones & Taggart, 1998). He is considered as the conflict theory founder. According to his theory the social structure, come into form by the negotiation and struggle of people belonging to different areas, thinking, ideas and interest. These people with their power and resources shape up the society. He explains that the personal troubles and issues also have impact on the society structure and economic power is not the only thing, which brings conflict in society. According to him, a good society can come into existence by erasing the difference of power full and powerless people and by bringing equality among the people (Kendall, 2000).
Japan Social Structure
Modern Japan can be distinguished in six social classes. These social classes are, “I. Imperial Family, II. Nobility, III. Upper Middle Class, IV. Lower Middle Class, V. Industrial Proletariat, and VI. Peasants. The Emperors and relatives of them are included in the Imperial Family. The next group nobility can be divided into Kuge, Daimyo and the third one the New Nobility. In the twelfth century, Kuge comprises of the prominent families, hold positions in court, and were considered very respectable. The Damiyo group consists of duke’s descendants and are very powerful than the nobility, and today they are political leaders. The New Nobility is the descendants of Samuri, the warriors of the principality period. Now they are, general, industrialist and statesmen. The next class is Upper Middle class, which is further divided into gentlemen and top civil servants. The other classes after the upper middle class were lower middle class, Proletariat, Peasants lower in ranks and economically not strong as other classes (Levy, 2000).
The presence of social classes in Japan is one of the factors for the existence of corruption. By analyzing the social structure of Japan according to the sociological theories, the division of a society into classes gives origin to bribery, power, and greediness for attaining the best than others. According to UNAFEI, “Japan’s social structure and the environment surrounding government employees contain many factors that could be seen as hotbed for corruption. In Japan, investigating authorities are under great pressure to expose corrupt practices by government employees, especially by office holders in the national government – high-ranking government officials and members of the Diet”.
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According to a field report Karan and Gilbreath explain the environment of Japans society as follows, “Airin is one of the highest -crime districts in Japan”. The residents of the district say, “Police are making money off the crimes they are supposed to control”. There is gang crime in different part of the country, which is not controlled by the police, and some of the gang groups do investments in stocks and run companies.
These two sociological theories of Karl and Wills explains that the economic and political conditions are not only the factors which affects the society but the existence of social classes and power distribution among the people in social classes creates and help corruption to grow in a country like Japan.
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