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Regulating Fear: The Processes of Creating ‘Stranger Danger’ and Their Impact on Japanese Children’s Urban Public Space Mobilities
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This article argues that school based systems of protection and attitudes of parental protection regarding stranger danger in parks and urban public space in Kanagawa Japan are creating a self-perpetuating embedded narrative of excessive risk and fear. It argues that this narrative is impacting negatively on children’s independent mobility and is socially counterproductive.  The systems and attitudes of protection examined are 1. Teaching the dangers of strangers and the ‘reading’ of strangers by police in school based classes with elementary aged children 2.  The real time reporting/mapping of strangers deemed to be suspicious in parks and public space through a school based network. These systems involve  processes using a ‘visual pedagogy’  in which   the stranger becomes known and is read as being ‘out of place’ in public space  if their corporeal appearance transgresses a  ‘regime of visuality’.   The article draws on qualitative fieldwork primarily undertaken with parents and teachers at an urban school located in Kanagawa Japan.

Keyword [en]
children, parents, public space, stranger danger, urban
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-304783OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-304783DiVA: diva2:1033997
Available from: 2016-10-10 Created: 2016-10-10 Last updated: 2016-10-10
In thesis
1. Encountering, regulating and resisting different forms of children’s and young people’s mobile exclusion in urban public space
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Encountering, regulating and resisting different forms of children’s and young people’s mobile exclusion in urban public space
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis focuses on different forms of exclusion specifically related to the mobility of children in Japan by examining the role of their parents as gatekeepers and existing systems of protection and control as producers, regulators and organizers of their mobilities.

Article I examines the everyday feelings of exclusion experienced by immigrant parents of preschool aged children in public park playgrounds in Tokyo. These parental feelings of exclusion arose from unsuccessful encounters between children, in part due to visible bodily differences. The article argues that this sense of exclusion is socially problematic as immigrant parents turn away from local public space mobilities towards virtual mobilities in online play dates with their countries of origin, and focus more on private home centered play through a style of self-segregation as coping techniques.

Article II focuses on school based systems of protection and attitudes of parental protection in Kanagawa regarding stranger danger. These systems involve processes utilizing a visual pedagogy in which the stranger becomes known and is read as being ‘out of place’ in public space if their corporeal appearance transgresses a ‘regime of visuality’ through a form of networked regulation. The article argues that these systems and attitudes are creating a self-perpetuating embedded narrative of excessive risk and fear which impacts negatively on children’s independent mobility and is socially counterproductive in public space.

Article III focuses on a controversially redeveloped urban park in Tokyo where factors such as ‘pay to play’ access to sports amenities and heavy rule sets are in place to regulate the space. The article illuminates contradictions which arose between the official redevelopment discourse and what then ultimately unfolded socially on the ground. It argues that the current park structures limit children’s and young people’s everyday access and mobilities, and further, that they direct their focus towards resisting adult structures.

The combined findings of the thesis are that opportunities must be taken and implemented across parental, institutional and official scales to promote the everyday mobilities of children in urban public space in order to prevent them becoming mobile and political anomalies in public.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of Social and Economic Geography, 2016. 102 p.
Series
Geographica, ISSN 0431-2023 ; 11
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-304785 (URN)978-91-506-2602-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-11-25, Hörsal 2, Ekonomikum, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-11-07 Created: 2016-10-10 Last updated: 2016-11-07

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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