Departmental Bulletin Paper Friendly Authoritarianism and Neighborhood Associations in Rural Japan -A Case from Noto Peninsula-

Nishimoto, Yoichi  ,  西本, 陽一

This paper examines the characteristics of non-violent soft control in Japanese society through the case study of a neighborhood association (NHA) in rural Japan. Although today many foreign tourists to Japan are impressed by the orderliness of the towns and the high level of discipline of the people, Japanese society is so standardized that not a few Japanese have the somewhat uneasy feeling of being controlled by unseen power. This paper examines the characteristics and changes of Japanese NHAs by using the theory of ‘friendly authoritarianism’ (Sugimoto 2014) that views Japanese NHAs as a form of regimentation through which dominant ideologies and norms become shared and naturalized by people of the grassroots. The aims of the paper are descriptive and theoretical. Based on fieldwork on a rural Japanese NHA, the paper offers detailed description of a NHA in rural Japan and attempts to answer the questions: (1) What are the characteristics of soft social control on individuals in Japan?; (2) To what extent does the theory of friendly authoritarianism apply to the case of a NHA in rural Japan?; and (3) What changes has a rural NHA undergone and what do these changes imply for the theory of friendly authoritarianism?
本稿は石川県能登地方の一町内会を事例に,日本社会における直接的な強制を伴わないソフトな社会統制の性質について検討する.Sugimoto(2014)は,日本の町内会は‘friendlyauthoritarianism’と呼びうる統治機構の一例であり,実際には同調圧力や相互監視を伴いながらも,理論的には住民が自主的に参加する行事や楽しみ会を通して,支配的なイデオロギーや規範が草の根レベルにまで,住民がはっきりと意識しない中で,浸透し共有されるしくみだと主張する.本稿は,能登の一町内会の事例を取りあげ,日本社会における社会統制の性質、‘friendly authoritarianism’理論の妥当性および近年の社会変化が社会統制機構としての町内会に及ぼした変化について検討する.

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