This study aims to highlight the value of economics, social relations and culture in building a healthy community by interpreting qualitative data.
A qualitative descriptive approach was used between June 2016 and May 2017 and interviews were analysed inductively. Twenty residents of a shopping street in Tohoku, a rural town in north-eastern Japan, participated in this survey. This study focused on the residents’ value of economics, social relations and culture in building a healthy community.
People acquired economic benefits in the hope of gaining irreplaceable relationships with customers and residents, including memorable stories and heart-to-heart satisfaction. The narratives reflected not only the ideal aspects of social relations but also realistic and complex aspects, such as feelings of being uncomfortable with strangers, whether they were long-term residents or newcomers. The daily life of the town is a story, which is built based on customs fostered and strengthened through capital bonds.
To build a healthy community, people residing on shopping streets have unique care systems in which multiple glass shop windows make it easier to tell narrative stories, communicate or request assistance, which is very different from knocking on doors in suburban neighbourhoods.
There are no funding or conflicts of interest. The authors would like to give special thanks to the informants who shared their history and experience with them, and to the late Dr Koko Muraoka who always warmly supported them.
Ohashi, Y., Sugawara, S. and Ozaki, A. (2023), "Economic, social and cultural concepts for building a healthy community among residents of a Japanese shopping street", Working with Older People, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 49-58. https://doi.org/10.1108/WWOP-08-2021-0041
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