“Reference Group”, which is the typical modern term in Sociology, Psychology and Anthoropology, has been known as a useful concept for investigations of Value-judgement, Polital Attitude, Mass Communication Process, Deviant Behavior and so on. But it is difficult to find there the theory of “Reference Group”. There is no “Reference Group Theory” to be worthy of the name. Some people, therefore, have been suspicious of its “true” scientific efficiency. And, being lack of the firm theory, there is a good deal of popular misunderstanding about it. So, we must confirm, first of all, its theoretical character for the sake of its better future development. Reference Group Theory, on the one hand, is theoretically based upon Symbolic Interactionism (T. Shibutani, R. Turner and others). This theory lays great stone on individual's subjectivity, his standpoint and his subjective reference. However, it does not relate these to the structural factors of social actuality, so that it can but treat abstract individual's free, voluntary and unrestricted subjectivity. It'll be nothing but “Idealism”. On the other hand, Reference Group Theory has actually its foundation on American Mass Society, especially the situation consisted of social change, social conflict and social mobility. But it has strongly pragmatic dispositions stressing “Adaptation to surroundings”, and becomes the social theory that urges “Conformity to a given society” (particularly in the case of Functionalists such as R.K. Merton and S.N. Eisenstadt). To devote these weakness and defects, we must have more Socio-Psychological concern in examihing this theory, above all in defining the term of “Reference Group”. And, beyond Symbolic Interactionists and Functionalists, we have to concentrate further our attentions upon the concrete individual's socio-psycho-logical subjectivity that means “Deviation” from a given society, “Solution” of its conflict situations and “Creation” for new social systsms.
Social organization in Japanese industry has been charactrized as a lifetime commitment, in which the employee works for one firm throughout his work life. Abegglon indicates that Japanese management and their workers hold a tightly reciprocal set of obligations in which the empolyee will not quit the company for the other industrial employment and the management will assure permanent employment. According to his conclusion Japanese industry is the case in which a traditional social organization can facilitate substantial progress in industrial achievement. On the other hand, the theory of Max Weber suggests that rationalization is inevitable in the management of modern large scale organization. We are asking whether the present employment practices in Japan do or do not fit the theory of modern social organization. With the introduction of conceptual distinctions between lifetime commitment as role behavior, and two types of commitment to a firm : status enhancement and moral loyalty, we examine data from Japanese national labor statistics in interfirm mobility and data from our own research on employees' turn-over and attitudes to lifetime commitment in two Japanese factories in of a major electric appliance firm and a leading shipbuilding firm in the area of Osaka-Hyogo prefectures. Our research findings are summarized as follows. National labor statistics show that among Japanese manufacturing establishments of all sizes, the annual separation rete ranged between 26 percent and 31 percent during the peroid 1963-1967. Even in the large firms (over 500 employees) the annual rate ranged between 19 percent and 23 percent during the same period. In addition, there is the cumulative separation rate for a cohort of employees who change firms during their work life. These data indicate there is substantial mobility, not only in-mobility, but also out-mobility, among the Japanese labor force. Our field research data consisting of interviewing and questionnaire methods reveal 1) that the reciprocity of obligations between the Japanese employee and his company exists, but its symmetry is both less than and different from what Abegglen claims ; 2) employees who stay in one firm (lifetime commitment role behavior) often do so for reasons extraneous to both the status enhancement and moral loyality types of commitment, for example, worthwhileness of job, good human relations, economic security, etc. ; and 3) insofar as employees stay in one firm because they have lifetime commitment norms and values, these are much more likely to be of the status enhancement type than of the moral loyality type. For example, employees who profess lifetime commitment and who perceive others as also committed tend to be male, older, with more seniority, higher pay, rank and job classification all of which can be subsumed under status enhancement reasons. Abegglen stresses dissimilarities between Japanese and American factory social organization. Our findings on factors making Japanese employees attached to their firms point primarily to socio-economic status enhancement, which is basically the same factor motivating American and Western employees to remain in their firms. We conclude that lifetime commitment behavior in Japanese workers are results of rational selection rather than conforming to traditional values.
There are still thousands of so-called Hidden-Christians (Kirishitan) and their villages in north-western part of Kyushu today. They originate in the tradition of the 16th century's Christian Church in Japan. A very paradoxical fact concerning these people, in the first place, is that they have strongly persisted in being “hidden”, even when they have got freedom to believe their religious value at the beginning of Meiji Era. But it is a more paradoxical fact that the religious communities and groups of the same people have been rapidly disorganizing, or disorganized already in recent decades. During the same years, capitalistic progress in Japan has promoted a large scale of social mobility, and these people were also under this turn over, as labor forces or army forces. This is no doubt a major external factors of the social disorganization in the case of Kurosaki. However, the catholic people who live in the same village under the same conditions, who have converted to the R. C. Church at that time, have kept strong religious, social integration. We have to examine, therefore, another internal factors, that is, factors concerning characteristic social structure of the Kirishitan village, in order to interprete the paradoxical phenomena properly. In this paper we assumed 4 hypothesis, constructed on nativity, social moblity, religious leadership, and power structure of the community, and then presented related survey data.