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The interactive school lunch and cultural view of the self : A social psychological study of the Japanese school lunch system

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  • 交流給食と文化的自己観 : 学校給食の社会心理学的研究
  • コウリュウ キュウショク ト ブンカテキ ジコカン ガッコウ キュウショク ノ シャカイ シンリガクテキ ケンキュウ

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Abstract

The Japanese school lunch system is considered to be a product of the interdependent view of the self derived from Japanese culture, in the sense that it gives weight to children eating the same food at the same place as their peers in order to bring about a mutually close relationship. The latest form of school lunch is the so-called "interactive lunch," where children have lunch with not only their peers but also with the principal, teachers, office staff, and even sometimes with residents of the school area. In the present study, three surveys of schoolchildren were conducted to clarify the effects of the interactive school lunch on their cognition and attitude toward school lunch. It was found that children provided with an interactive lunch generally showed a more favorable attitude to school lunch than their counterparts who were not so provided, and that these effects of an interactive lunch depend on the length of the period for which the service continues. It was also suggested that children internalize an interdependent view of the self through their experiences of school lunch.

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