S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) 국제지역연구 국제지역연구 vol.02 (1993)
일본 지역주민조직의 활동과 기능
The Social Function of Neighborhood Organization in Japan: Old-Fashioned Chonaikai and New-Fashioned Jichikai
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 지역종합연구소
- 지역연구, Vol.02 No.3, pp. 109-127
- There have been arguements on the nature and prospect of the postwar chonaikai/jichikai, a virtrally ubiquitous neighborhood organization in Japan. The central issue is whether the organization is a modern and voluntary citizens" organization for grassroots democracy and autonomy, a non-voluntary and conventional institution subsidiary to the administration, or a spontaneous organization as an expression of the "cultrual pattern" peculiar to Japan, With a view to substantiating the arguements, I investigate three areas in the southern part of Kawasaki City and a rather new residential complex along the coast of Kamakura City. The analysis focuses on the socioeconomic composition and stability of population, structure and leadership of the organization, substance of activities, and annual revenue and expenditure.
The chonaikai/jichikai activities vary substantially across areas. Among the critical variables for the acitivation of the neighborhood organization are the stability of population and organization leadership. The combination of these two variables classifies the neighborhood organizaions into four types: administration-dependent, autor omy-oriented, mixed, and reviving one. The more homogeneous and stabler in population and the more volunteers and younger in leadership, the more activated is the neighborhooe. organization.
Despite the variation, however, the most fundamental activities of neighborhood associations involve the supplementation of administrative service. The multifunctionality and historical tenacity of neighborhood organizations is rather attributed to the administrative need. The neighborhood organization has adapted itself to the changing circumstances, and the recent effort for revitalization by tempering it with the voluntary association-like activities is a part of the adaptive process. As long as the lowest level of formal administrative organization continues to cover a relatively large size of area and population and unless the administration is determined to institute a radically new mechanism intermediating between the administration and individual residents, the neighborhood organization will survive, at the least, as an organization supplementing the administrative function.