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Friends and neighbours in the social life of older Japanese and Australians

The sociology of ageing

Author: Asakawa, T., Koyano, Wataru, Kendig, H.
Year: 1996
Type: Book Section


Friends and neighbours are generally regarded as relatively peripheral members of the convoy of social support as people move through their life course. While relatives take primary care for long-term commitments, neighbours are particlularly important for accessibility based tasks and friends typically provide companionship and expressive support. There has been relatively little research on non-family support received by older people. The gaps in knowledge are particlularly great with regard to neighbouring realtions and comparisons of Easterns and Western societies. Slightly different questionniares were used for each country to allow for important cultural differences, social supports were measured approapriately for each culture but were then aggregated to allow comparison between the two countries. For example, 'acceptance', one of the itmes used for emotional support in the Australian survey is not directly understandable for the Japanese elderly. Conversely, the meaning of 'understanding without saying' is hard to understand for the Australian elderly. In this study, the two terms (and others) were made conceptually comparable. The study demonstrates the importance of careful interpretation of data and the danger of direct translation of survey times in cross-cultural studies on social life.

Further Details

Author Minchiello, Victor, Chappell, N, Kendig, H., Walker, A
Pages 467-473
Publish Location Melbourne
Publisher International Sociological Association
Accession Number 24.7.02
Research Notes Electronic copy added 26/08/2013
Keywords AustraliaAsiaolderemotional

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