The Duality of Social Systems and the Environmental Movement in Japan

  • Harutoshi FunabashiEmail author
Part of the Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies book series (NCSS)


The sociological theory of the “dual character of social systems” explains the role and the character of social movements and is applied here to environmental problems. This theory argues that all forms of social organization contain two analytically different systems of social control: a system of domination and a system of management. In reality, these two are merged into each other. But making the analytical distinction reveals the nature of the interaction between movements and governmental offices. In this view, government and movements generate three types of problem-solving processes. The first type involves the management system, where governments and movements cooperate to solve social problems. The second type involves the domination system, where the government subordinates and imposes sufferings on residents, turning them into victims. These victims then organize social movements to resist their oppressor. In the third type, “cooperative problem solving by opposing actors,” systems of domination and management interact. Government and movement actors, though having opposed interests nevertheless find a cooperative way to produce mutually beneficial solutions. The solution of environmental problems, now so universal, requires intervention into and reorganization of the economic system. This intervention proceeds through four stages: (A) Lack of constraints on the economic system, (B) Imposition of constraints, (C) Incorporation of environmental concern as a secondary management task, and (D) Incorporation of environmental concern as a primary management task. In order to push this reorganization toward stage D, environmental movements must acquire more capacity for cooperative problem solving with government in the management of problems, and also to resist when deprived by the domination system.


Social Movement Management Task Garbage Collection Environmental Movement Incineration Plant 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hosei UniversityTokyoJapan

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