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1. Introduction: the social designation of deserving citizens The private discourse: expectations of vulnerability - the public discourse: responsibilities for intervention - values, interests, and symbolic equity: a framework of analysis 2. Two communities - two societies: West Haven - Westside Odawara - comparing communities 3. Rights and responsibilities in the public domain: entitlement, obligation, and equity - individual, family, and state 4. The practice of protection and intervention in the private domain: inside the household - outside the household - family and network - the recognition of vulnerability 5. The Japanese viewpoint: the protective approach 6. The American viewpoint: the contingency approach 7. Cultural assumptions and values: trajectories of need - conditions of security - intergenerational equity - primary bonds of affection - units of self-sufficiency - visions of resource affluence 8. The social regulation of interests: credit, debt, and mutual interests - rights, responsibilities, and collective interests - the logic of symbolic equity - distribution of symbolic resources: empowerment and disempowerment - social and cultural constructions of support - vulnerability and security - entitlement and obligation - reciprocity and dependency - failures and costs 9. Conclusion: Reflections on diversity and change.