The Japan Sociological Association decided to hold a symposium with “The Social Bases of Politics in Japan” as its general theme this year. Its important aims were that the social bases which sustain politics in Japan at present must be made clear, and the channels which lead from local self-governmental politics to the national government. If their mechanism is made clear, we could know more evidently about the political situations in Japan. To answer these subjects we selected four dimensions : (A) Town-assembly maintained chiefly by old-middle class. (B) Rural community composed chiefly of farmers. (C) Trade-union (D) New middle class We tried to investigate how these people are connected with the local self-government and how their political processes have a connection with the national government. Schematically speaking we can conjecture in general as follows : 1. Both (A) -group and (B) -group maintain the conservative local politics and their political activities form the social bases of the conservative parties. 2. (C) -group assumes a conservative attitude to the local politics, but connected with progressive parties on the level of the national politics. 3. (D) -group isolates itself from both the local- and national politics. The real political conditions in Japan, as we know, are not so simple as this Therefore this schema must be corrected naturally. To solve these difficult problems we must study at the same time from the total vision, i.e. we must first find the approach from the level of the political power, and we must second make the most of the results which the other social sciences have accomplished.
Generally speaking, after the Land Reform, the traditional structure of our village community has been disintegrated gradually owing to giving up the landlord system and to the development of agricultural productivity. As a result of this transition, the community structure as dominating mechanism by landlord lost its raison d'être and the preponderance of the high status family in the community ceased to be a basis to justify personal and substantial control over lower status families. Thus, the political structure moves from the personal domination based on landownership, which has intensified with the “communalism” kept by the Dozoku relationship, to the impersonal domination exercised by the governmental bureaucracy. So, in this article, we intendt o clarify the political structure of the contemporary village community and the political subjecthood of farmers in the direction of the change above mentioned. Firstly, with the development of Japanese capitalism, on the one hand, the more commercialized agriculture needs to be pursued intensively with much capital, on the other a non-agricultural market is opened up to agricultural people, so class differentiation becomes more complicated. By and large, the middle stratum of farmers has increased since the Land Reform, but now the middle decreases, the lower increases relatively, and the higher is increasing very slightly. In accordance with these transitions of class differentiation, the community structure, in which still remained the traditionally communal ways of life including the communal mode of production, may have diverse implications for each class. For the higher, who have the value-orientation to enlarge the farming scale, the traditional structure of the Buraku community is not always desirable, and communal control may be an obstacle to their economically rational orientation. For the lower however, who depend upon the income from the side-jobs of one or more of the family members for support, the village community does not always compensate their poor living. Therefore, the village community is losing the significant role for the higher as well as the lower. Rather, to exaggerat slightly, the Buraku remains still only as the complements of agricultural production for those of the middle class who can not make a living depending only upon agricultural income. Such being the case, the significance of the village community is different for each class but it is difficult to diminish the old and closed communal character remaining in contemporary villages so long as we cannot dissolve the petty farming system itself. Secondly, in addition to changes in class differentiation there are also other causes to diminish the traditional character of the village community. The one is enlargement of the communal boundary and functions through the governmental administration ; the other is emergence of many functional groups organized with farmer's own interests which go over the conventional boundary of the village community and may destroy the traditional system of it. In either case, the bureaucratization of the community control may be prompted rapidly with diminishing the traditional community structure. However, it seems to me that growing capitalistic domination with bureaucratic control by the central government cannot dissolve fundamentally the petty farming system. And, in spite of the rational orientation to get over the traditional community structure, the higher class inclines to resolve the problems it confronts in accordance with the capitalistic system which yields the contradiction by itself.
In this paper, we examine the political roles of trade-union. Roles can be summarized as follows : general election and social movements. But the problems of trade-union are related to the character of its organization. So, for the first, we describe the developmental process of trade-unionism. The distinctive structural feature of Japanese trade-unionism has been thought to be its “enterprise basis of organization” (Levine). The integration of traditional personnel relations on political and economic condition of post-war society has brought the establishment of the enterprise union. Characteristics of the enterprise union are as follows : (1) its organizational structure is very small (2) it lacks solidarity among working class people and this leads easily to disunity ; and (3) this kind of enterprise union has no controllable relation with the labor market. However, the enterprise union is closely related to the industrial union and national union. And there is a hierarchical system from enterprise union to national union integrating personnel relations. The main roles of political movements in trade-union have been established by national union and enterprise union which have been formed by collective bargaining. And trade-union has built up a strong background for, mainly, the Socialist Party. And there are considerable number of the Diet Members (Nation 30.8% ; Prefecture 20.1% ; City, Town & Village 10.1%) from this union. The Socialist Party sends many representatives to the Diet but it sends few to the local council. We call this phenomenon “reverse pyramid in the Socialist Party.” The reasons for this kind of “reverse pyramid in the Socialist Party” are : (1) there is a hierarchy in the formation of trade-unionism rising from enterprise union to national union and the Socialist Party ; (2) generally, inhabitants in local community have been conservative in sentiment ; and (3) the Socialist Party has not much strength in the local community. Besides, the Socialist Party has little solid community organization for its benefit. The political goal of trade-union is to form a revolutionary background for the working class. And enterprise had kept very similar characteristics to this kind. Today, the political role of the enterprise union is restricted to its function in a general election. And social movement of trade-union has been developed by national union. The political roles of enterprise union is considered to be greatly related to the organizational characteristic of trade-union.
In Japanese enterprise white-collar workers and blue-collar workers have equal membership in the same union. So it happens that the political problems of white-collar workers are treated within the framework of trade unionism. Now, in mass society the occupational group activities of white-collar workers have given rise to new problems. In this article these occupational group activities are dealt with as the political problems of white-collar workers proper. The occupational groups of white-collar workers are classified into two kinds. The first one, which is an organization from above, is formed to infuse from above the professionalism that is vital to the smooth circulation of political power. Through this kind of organization, the skill and pride in the job of white-collar workers are guaranteed objectively and institutionally by political power. The second kind, which is the organization from below, is formed by the white-collar workers themselves to seek the objective guarantee of their skill and the assurance of their pride in the job. In this kind of organization they base professionalism upon functional rationality of their skill. But the requirement to realize the functional rationality of their skill is checked by the requirement of public welfare. The character of occupational groups of white-collar workers is to be considered from many aspects, : the extent of the professionalization of their skill, the relation between supply and demand of their skill, relations between occupational group and union, and relations between occupational group and government. The political function of occupational groups varies with the form of their political demands, the structure of the decision-making process of the government and the structure of the decision-making process of the occupational group. Our political culture is ready to transform these occupational groups into pressure groups which have the possibility of playing a part in pressure group politics.
Dr. Shôtaro Yoneda (18731945) was appointed lecturer in the College of Literature, Kyoto Imperial University in 1907 when the university opened its sociology course. In 1920, he became a professor of the university and resigned in 1925. Dr. Yoneda, though he was not a graduate of the Academy, had read extensively in English, American, French, German, and Italian with great keenness and perseverance. He also issued many works based on his extensive reading. With this background, he developed a very broad outlook in Sociology in Japan. In spite of his encyclopedic knowledge, it should be noted that in his works he formed methodically the idea of “Pure Sociology”. After his graduation from Nara Eiwa Gakko in 1891, he went to the United States and laid the foundation of his knowledge of sociology at Columbia University under the guidance of Professor Giddings. Under the influence of Prof. Giddings' lectures and works, he studied the province, objects, and study method of sociology and its position in the field of social sciences. He concentrated his interest particularly on the subject of the nature of “the most primary and elementary social facts”, noted by Dr. Giddings. Dr. Yoneda thought thought that this was closely related to “Les lois de l'imitation” by Gabriel Tarde, professor of Collège de France. To develop this subject further, he left Columbia University and went to Paris to study under Prof. Tarde. There he devoted himself to the study of Prof. Tarde's sociology. Throughout his life, he had a great respect for Prof. Tarde, as well as Prof. Giddings, as his honoured teachers. Dr. Yoneda, however, did not simply absorb the ideas of his teachers without reflection. He formed the idea of “Pure sociology” by reorganizing the fundamental sociological ideas of his teachers, making them logically consistent, and extracting the good points of many other sociologists' studies. Dr. Yoneda, while he had been with Kyoto Imperial University, gave new lectures, every year, on various subjects to the students who were studying sociology, and at the same time took up “Pure Sociology” as an ordinary lecture to the students. The theory of Pure Sociology is the most fundamental part in his sociology system. The theory was originated by Giddings as mentioned above and was also based on Tarde's idea of sociology. According to Tarde, imitation is the fact “purement social”, that is the most essential social fact. From this point of view, his Les lois de l'imitation (1890) is the focus of his sociology. He called it “Sociologie pure” or “sociologie générale”. It is, however, substantially different from Ward's “Pure Sociology” and Small's “General Sociology” in its logically systematic structure. Dr. Yoneda was influenced by Giddings' and Tarde's sociology and further influenced, at a later date, by Georg Simmel's theory. He attempted to establish his theory of “Pure Sociology” after a methodological scrutiny of these studies. He had lectured for many years on Pure Sociology, but this lecture had not been published as a special work before he died. His theory of sociology was presented in Annals of the Institute of Social Science of Japan, Vol. I, (19131914), under the title On Sociology, and was stated systematically in his book Modern Sociological Theories (1948). We can also see something of his ideas in Sociological Theories of Today, published in 1906. It has been said so far that formal sociology was given its basis by Georg Simmel, but I think we can see it first in Tarde's sociology.
I. Types of mass communication effects. Effects of mass communication, which have been dealt with by psychoegoists, may be classified into two types : (A) effects of “communication content” upon receptor's comprehensions and attitudes, (B) effects of “presence of media in the life space” upon personality development. II. An approach to the effects of communication contents. Contacts with contents transmitted through mass media are indirect experiences and are different from direct contacts with the real world. Therefore, psychologists are primarily interested in the assimilatory process of these indirect experiences. Past studies seem to have faults both in theoretical frameworks and in research strategies especially, it was hypothesized that transmitted contents are left intact in every mind. Nowadays, however, these tendencies are completely rejected in theoretical works and are gradually disappearing in the field researches. Generally accepted view, as represented by Klapper, is that “Mass communication functions among and through a nexus of mediating factors and influences.” There seem to be two important types of the mediating factors : the social agent (e.g. opinion leader) and the individual personality structure. Psychological studies mainly deal with the assimilatory processes of experiences into the personality structure. These processes may be described as follows : (1) A human personality is the product of past experiences. It reflects his living condition and his activities in it. (2) A new experience is assimilated into his personality structure. (3) In this assimilatory process of the new experience, changes take place in personality structure itself. Based on these theoretical considerations, three research strategies were proposed. 1) Accumulation of case studies. 2) Classification of subjects by the patterns of effects. 3) Researches about changes in effects brought about by guidance and instruction. III. An approach to the effects of presence of media. Here the effects caused by the appearance of the new mass media, as well as its following changes in life schedules, are examined. It is still more difficult to study this type of effects. Especially it is almost impossible to know the causal relationships and the process of the influence. But, in other fields of psychology, e.g. “Parental attitudes and personality formation”, the progress was remarkable from correlational studies of two attributes to genetic and clinical studies of their dynamic relations. We may well expect the same thing in the research of long-term effects of mass communication. From this point of view, the design of TV-gr. vs non TV-gr. comparison in TV effect surveys must be put to severe criticism. IV. Psychological vs sociological approach to mass communication research. Concerning the psychological and sociological research in mass communication, three points were discussed : 1) Foresight about the possibility of utilizing the research findings. 2) Social determination of psychological process in mass communication. 3) Some views on the assimilation.