[URBANTH-L]Research Question in Japanese Context
levinger at earthlink.net
Wed Jun 14 07:46:15 EDT 2006
There is a new movement in the United States to get more children
walking to school. There has been a decline from over 60% walking 30
years ago to under 14% walking today. Most of the work in this area
has focused on European initiatives.
Despite the Eurocentric orientation of the US movement, there is much
to be learned from Japan. In Japan, there is a very organized, yet
normative practice of having children walk to school in self-managed
groups. Unfortunately, I have found no documentation of this
practice in English.
Fortunately, I currently have a temporary employee who is Japanese
and herself led such a "Walking School Bus" when she was in primary
school in Japan. Shoko is a recent Masters in Public Health graduate
and will be returning to Japan in July. I have been trying to
determine who in Japan one might be able to tap for funding to
document this phenomenon in English.
We are looking for:
(1) a cultural anthropologist, urban studies, or sociologist in
Japan who might be available to discuss the context of such research
(2) travel grants for presenting the results of this research at an
international conference on walking and bicycling here in the US in
(3) and possible sponsors for future research in Japan
If anyone on this list has urban anthropology contacts in Japan, that
would be greatly appreciated.
A meta question that arises from this work relates to the slower
transfer of cultural learning from Asian to the United States. I
wonder whether there are any good papers on this topic folks might
point me to?
Thank you in advance,
David Levinger, PhD, PE
1402 Third Ave, Suite 1121
Seattle, WA 98101
david at feetfirst.info
(206) 390-8118 (cell)
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