The purpose of this study is, first, to grasp inhabitants' value-orientation by examining their evaluation of the residential environment which surrounds them, and second, to inspect the variability or stability of the pattern of such value-orientation among districts. At the beginning of the study, to obtain data for the analysis, a questionnaire survey was conducted among housewives living in detached houses in two districts of Yokohama City: Higashi-Terao, Tsurumi Ward, and Hongodai, Sakae Ward (Fig. 1). The questions were intended to elicit satisfaction and significance ratings for 14 components of the residential environment. The questionnaires were distributed directly and collected by mail. The number of questionnaires returned was 246 in Higashi-Terao and 289 in Hongodai. Analyzing the data collected in this survey gave the following results. First, comparing the average ratings for each item (Fig. 2), the overall rating level in Hongodai was higher than that in Higashi-Terao. Especially in significance rating, which seems independent of concrete environmental conditions, resemblance of rating patterns was considerably high between the two districts. Second, before the analysis of value-orientation, to verify the appropriateness of regarding each of the two study areas as a region composed of homogeneous inhabitants, an inspection was made to see if the residential environment evaluation was influenced by the attributes of inhabitants. In practice, the x2 test for independence was carried out. No definite relationship was observed between satisfaction or significance ratings and inhabitants' attributes. Then, to acquire coordinates of stimulus (which indicate relationships among elements of the residential environment in the inhabitants' minds), multidimensional scaling (MDS) was performed for each district's data; quite similar results were obtained (Figs. 3 and 4). Especially in the analysis of significance rating data, resemblance was very high, and this seems to be for the same reason as in the previous analysis of evaluative pattern. In the next step, taking satisfaction with overall residential environment as a dependent variable and ratings for each item as independent variables, multiple regression analyses were conducted and “weights” which imply the contribution of each item to overall satisfaction were derived (Table 1). Results of analyses showed that the two districts' data had a considerable resemblance. In simple significance rating, the items with the highest scores were those which corresponded to what Maslow (1954) called “more basic needs”; “weights” derived from these analyses corresponded to “higher-level needs”. Based on the above mentioned results, the following conclusions could be derived about the inhabitants' value-orientation by analyzing their evaluation of the residential environment: concerning the value-orientation obtained by examining satisfaction rating data, the results of analysis in each district differ slightly because of the direct influence of objective environmental conditions on the evaluation; but regarding the value-orientation grasped from significance rating data, the resemblance between the two results is very high because of the absence of that influence. Therefore, with regard to the value-orientation of inhabitants acquired from significance rating data, the pattern of such value-orientation seems to be quite stable among regions.
David Harvey (The Johns Hopkins University) visited Japan from 13 to 30 October 1994, by invitation of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. On this occasion the Working Group “Theories and Tasks of Social Geography” (head: Yoshiaki Takatsu, Niigata University), one of the research commissions of the Association of Japanese Geographers, organized this symposium. The attendance of approximately 300 members suggested growing interest among Japanese geographers in research on the relationship between space and society. Harvey's keynote speech was preceded by the presentations of four Japanese scholars: Masami Fujii (Gauss) pointed out that Harvey had needed positivism only because he needed explanation in geography; Noriyuki Hirai (Hitotsubashi University) noted Harvey's intention to discover the social relations behind economics in his treatment of Marxian economics and crisis theory; Jun Kainuma (Nagoya University) explained how Harvey came to be an authentic heir to Henri Lefebvre's conception of space in his critique of postmodernism; and Keiichi Takeuchi (Komazawa University) examined Harvey's position in the development of “geographical thought” and discovered continuity in Harvey's work from the early 1970's until now. The full text of Harvey's keynote speech and a summary of the discussions that followed are available in Series B of the Geographical Review of Japan, Vol. 67, No. 2, 1994.