生成する地域の境界:内部化した「ホームレス問題」と制度変化のローカリティ The Emerging Boundaries of Regional Society:Geographical Diffusion of Homeless Street People and Institutional Changes at the Local Level
Since the mid-1990s, Japanese society has witnessed a sharp increase in the number of homeless street people. Most Japanese scholars have regarded this phenomenon as a quantitative matter. But the phenomenon had also a qualitative aspect to be investigated: that is the aspect of institutional changes promoted by homeless street people. As the homeless increased in number, they became geographically diffused. For the purposes of this paper, two consequences of the geographical diffusion should be distinguished: (1) the homeless now live so close to the local residents that these residents can feel offended by the proximity of the homeless; (2) when the residents cannot physically evict the homeless, they often do so institutionally. Technically, we can rephrase these two consequences as uncertainty and institutional changes. The day-to-day activities of the homeless rendered the performance of regional institutions uncertain. As the local residents encountered this situation, they tried to overcome it through institutional changes at a local level. In the paper, I focus on the homeless recyclers who live and work in the residential areas of the cities of Yokohama and Hiratsuka, and examine how their recycling activities rendered the public recycling programs invalid. Local residents who felt that the public recycling programs were at risk asked the police and city government to limit the activities of the homeless. Gradually, informal rules aimed at restricting these activities developed through the strategic reactions of regional actors. Examples of these rules were as follows: the police could treat the homeless recyclers as criminals; only those homeless recyclers who used carts rather than bicycles were to be punished; and so on. Interestingly, formal rules (ordinances) could not exert much leverage in the rule-making processes. In the case of Yokohama,, the city trash ordinance was wrongfully utilized to criminalize the recycling activities of the homeless. In the case of Hiratsuka, an ordinance was enacted to authorize the informal rules, but only after the informal rule-making process was completed.
ソシオロジ 52(1), 53-69,157, 2007