77.4 Social function as intermediate group of leisure service industry in local community in a Japanese mountain village

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 11:30 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Satoshi IDO , School of Japanese Studies, Aichi Prefectural University, Aichi, Japan
In modern Japanese society, the cohesiveness of the intermediate group between individuals and total society, such as family, kinship, enterprise and new religions, has weakened and become difficult for people to enjoy its inherent benefits. The dichotomy between the two perspectives of a self-decision by an individual’s free will or re-distribution by national administrative intervention has existed. Recently, the conception that nation should support the individual has strengthened in Japan.

Some sociologists, however, pay attention to the intermediate group and claim that it should be positively expected so that society can function in modern society as a consequence of the progression of leveling and fragmentation through globalization.

It becomes a problem on the other hand with respect to the intermediate group in the process of socialization of youth. Misgivings exist regarding the weakening and dismantlement of the intermediate group that socially subsumes the youth as well as having a social function to protect them from social exclusion.

In this presentation, the social function as the intermediate group is discussed while introducing the case of a local community in a well-known Japanese leisure mountain village where many young people flow in from larger cities to live and work. The following is argued. The youth, from urban where intermediate groups have been weakened or dismantled, might be made socialized and connected with society, as a result of the experience in the village where the leisure service industry as the intermediate group functions partially. The youth predominately tend to come in search of pleasure and hobbies, to seek their own identity rather than wages and conditions. As one of these factors, "family" managing accommodations and "hobby group" sharing the same winter sports function as a "home place" for them. Moreover, staying there for a while connects them with general society without obstacles.