Truong, A. et S. Gaudet (2020). « Costume Play and Young Adults’ Socio-Economic Insertion Pathways in Japan », International Journal of the Sociology of Leisure, vol. 3, nᵒ 2, p.177-196.
This article shows how young adults’ cultural practices in Japan have become a social trajectory whose study is essential to understanding the life journeys of youths. Costume play, or kosupure, is a form of popular culture mediation that facilitates young people’s social integration and fosters their sense of belonging. Studying these practices helps to better understand and define the changing importance of leisure in Japan in young people’s lives, in particular since the collapse of the economic bubble. Based on life stories and participant observation, we analyze the interweaving of these leisure practices and life courses. Our analysis helps to understand the symbolic and social roles of these activities in practitioners’ lives in the form of three pathway types. On the professional path, young people’s cultural practices open doors to employment. On the enchanted path, kosupure practices function above all in “response” to a society perceived by some young adults as “conformist”. On the contingency path, these practices facilitate social insertion. To conclude, we discuss these practices as cultural mediation tools that support young people’s cultural citizenship.