The aim of this study is to understand how metropolitan residents’ community consciousness (peoples’ attitudes toward their local community) and their demographic factors affect their participation in community activities in Japan. Two hundred and ninety four individuals were surveyed with a questionnaire that included a measure of community consciousness. Factor analysis showed that community consciousness was composed of four factors, which were solidarity, self-determination, attachment, and dependency on others. The result suggests that people thought that citizen’s participation in the administrative decision-making process was more important. Multiple regression models were employed, in which respondents’ demographic factors and community consciousness were set up as explanatory factors, and their participation in community activities as outcome variables. The analyses of those models showed that having children and being a woman were positively correlated with more frequent companionship with near neighbors and more positive participations in local community activities in a metropolitan city. These analyses also revealed that the respondents with a high level of dependency on others were reluctant to participate in local community activities and have neighborly companionship. Residents who have a high level of attachment to their local communities tend to overestimate the quality of their local communities
In recent years, the number of children of cross-cultural backgrounds has been increasing in Japan. Consequently, the educational issues faced by these children have also become serious. In this study, we focused on the Japanese volunteers who support such children at a Japanese language class. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 volunteers and 2 coordinators. The results suggested that the children experienced several difficulties with respect to language, school education, family, psychological problems and so on. In addition, volunteers found it difficult to single-handedly support children, and felt the need to bring about a change in society. Nevertheless, the Japanese language class and its volunteers played important roles in the children’s lives, both educationally and psychologically. In order to support them more effectively, regional and community support networking and a skilful coordinator are required. We believe that such networking will be useful to communities in which people of cross-cultural backgrounds live together.
Collaboration has been appreciated as a vital concept for research and practice in community psychology, especially since the Austin Conference on Training in Community Psychology in 1975 in which the Collaborative Scientist-Practitioner Model was proposed (Gatz & Liem, 1977). Although its importance was unobjectionable, a critical debate on the definition of collaboration is still continuing. Some of the reasons include: a) the use of the word “collaboration” varies across the researchers and the different fields in terms of its targets and the purposes, and b) there is still not common manner of constructing collaborative relationships.
This paper, first, reviews the theoretical and ethical considerations of the definitions and concepts of collaboration, the history of the development of the concepts of collaboration, and the use of collaboration in research and practice in community psychology and related areas. The following part discusses the purposes and products of collaboration, the role of researchers in collaborative relationships among the researchers and the communities, and the various process of constructing collaborative relationship among researchers and communities. In conclusion, a collaborative partnership model is proposed, that satisfies both researchers’ and communities’ needs, and maximises the effect of practice of community psychology.