- 地域社会学会年報 (ISSN:21893918)
- vol.28, pp.93-107, 2016
The objective of this paper is to clarify the particular organizational structure that enables youth participation in a local community through a case study of a volunteer group called Street Breakers whose work in Kashiwa-shi has resulted in young people joining activities to vitalise the city centre.In recent years, multiple surveys have shown an increasing tendency among youth to remain in their home communities and it has been pointed out that this arises due to the importance that youth place upon close friendships with their peers.From these findings, I point out a difficulty of the present situation. Even though the regional sociology indicates the importance of fostering "publicity" and "purposeful cooperation" in the local community, it remains difficult for young people to participate.Based on observations on participation, it was confirmed that Street Breakers' organizational structure consists of two different principal models: a hierarchical, and a network model which are fused together in a way that enables youth to participate in local activities.The former is a top-down tree structure in which resources and power of authority are concentrated and given to the senior level of the organization who then set the aims of activities and encourage people's heteronomous participation. The network model is a horizontal organizational structure which consists of participants who share a common purpose and values. They make a commitment to the organization independently and self-sustainingly.Street Breakers creates rich dynamics in the network model of organization. However, it is supported by the hierarchical model when the principle of purposeful cooperation became unstable and delayed. In this way, youth can maintain their purposeful cooperation and be linked to various area resources although they needn't devote themselves to intimacy with their peers.