- The Kantoh Sociological Society
- 年報社会学論集 (ISSN:09194363)
- vol.2014, no.27, pp.122-133, 2014-09-10 (Released:2015-09-01)
The theory of social movements has studied political protests with regard to their occurrence, duration, development and participants. Previous research has clarified that diverse factors are involved in all of these elements. Although policing, arrests and interrogations are also essential elements, few researchers have examined them as they occur in contemporary Japan. In this paper, the author conducted a case study based on interviews with arrested activists and their colleagues. From the analysis, the author clarified that arrested protesters are labeled as “radical protesters” both by the police and by people they know in their private lives. On the other hand, policing plays a role in an initiation that makes these protesters more committed to social movements. An arrested activist is recognized as a hero by some protesters. In this way, social movements can develop their sense of solidarity. However, other organizations often regard those arrested as deviant fellow-participants.