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  • ISSN 2508-8297 (Print)
  • ISSN 2671-7123 (Online)
Place and Placelessness of Old Age: The Politics of Aging in Place in Rural Japan
Kim Heekyoung

Vol.4, pp.149 – 175, 2020


Abstract
In this study, I investigate the ways that different concepts and senses of place in rural Japan collide during the process of applying the “Aging in Place” (AIP) philosophy by diverse actors, including the central government, regional governments, civic groups, NPOs, the elderly and their neighbors, which paradoxically results in the elderly, who are the targets of the policies, becoming alienated. First, the study analyzes in depth the experiences of place and placelessness of the elderly in local communities, examining how the elderly’s sense of place is changing. Second, the study critically observes the gap between the places the central and regional governments offer and the elderly’s sense of place. Third, the study discusses the attempts at and limitations to the offering of alternative places by old people’s cooperative unions and volunteer groups. The study critically observes the political and economic context for placelessness and stresses the importance of suitable and practical alternatives, given the elderly’s changing sense of place, in order to implement AIP successfully.
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