Nonprofit Organizations’ Attempts to Foster Networking among Mothers of Preschoolers
This chapter examines attempts by nonprofit organizations to foster networks among mothers of preschoolers. Drawing on participant observation and interviews conducted in Tokyo in January–April 2009, it considers how organizations that run drop-in play centers try to connect mothers of preschoolers and their experiences of using such centers. It first looks at the shrinking of traditional social networks in Japan before discussing the ways in which nonprofit organizations encourage young mothers to participate in drop-in play center activities by using their skills and previous work experiences. It shows that drop-in play centers provide a means for mothers to exchange a variety of information related to child rearing, along with opportunities for learning and exploration. Finally, it evaluates issues of concern to nonprofit organizations with regards to maintenance of drop-in play centers.
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