John W. Traphagan
Faculty Research Associate — Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
Professor of Religious Studies, Mitsubishi Fellow
Astrobiology | Japanese religion & society | ritual | medical anthropology | science, technology, and culture | entrepreneurship in Japan
John Traphagan is Professor of Religious Studies and Human Dimensions of Organizations and faculty affiliate of the Population Research Center. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in Social Anthropology, holds an MAR degree from Yale Universityl in ethics, and a BA in political science from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. His postdoctoral research was conducted as a National Institute on Aging Postdoctoral Fellow at the Population Studies Center of the University of Michigan and he has received a variety of grants to support his research, including funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Social Science Research Council, the Association for Asian Studies, and the American Philosophical Society. He was also a Fulbright scholar to Japan.
Dr. Traphagan's current research interests center on two areas: (1) the relationship between culture, religion, and science and (2) entrepreneurship in rural Japan. His past work has focused largely on medical concepts and religion in Japan.
Prof. Traphagan is the author of Extraterrestrial Intelligence and Human Imagination: SETI and the Intersection of Science, Religion, and Culture (Springer 2014), Rethinking Autonomy: A Critique of Principlism in Biomedical Ethics, (SUNY 2013), Taming Oblivion: Aging Bodies and the Fear of Senility in Japan (SUNY 2000) and The Practice of Concern: Ritual, Well-Being, and Aging in Rural Japan (Carlina Academic Press 2004). In addition, he has edited and co-edited a number of books on similar topics. His most recent edited volume, Imagined Families, Lived Families: Culture and Kinship in Contemporary Japan (with Akiko Hashimoto, 2008), explores the cultural and demographic transformations affecting the modern Japanese family from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.
Dr. Traphagan has served on editorial boards for journals such as the Journal of Ritual Studies and the Journal of Intergenerational Relationships. He is past editor-in-chief of the Journal of Cross Cultural Gerontology and is currently editor of Care Management Journals. From 2010 to 2014 he served as Secretary General of the Japan Anthropology Workshop (JAWS).
Dr. Traphagan teaches courses on religion in Japan, astrobiology, organizational culture, and medical anthropology.
- Traphagan, John W. (ed.). 2007. Culture, Care, and Aging in Asia: Special Issue of the Journal of Long Term Home Health Care 25(1).
- Hashimoto, Akiko and J. W. Traphagan (eds.). In press. Imagined Families, Lived Families: Culture and Kinship in Contemporary Japan. Albany: State University of New York Press.
- Thang, Leng Leng, Mui Teng Yap, John W. Traphagan (eds.). 2005. Aging in Asia: Special Issue of the Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology 20(4).
- Thompson, C. S. and J. W. Traphagan (eds.). 2006. Wearing Cultural Styles in Japan: Concepts of Tradition and Modernity in Practice. Albany: State University of New York Press.
- Traphagan, J. W. 2004. The Practice of Concern: Ritual, Well-Being, and Aging in Rural Japan. Durham: Carolina Academic Press.
- Traphagan, J. W. and John Knight (eds.) 2003. Demographic Change and the Family in Japan's Aging Society. Albany: State University of New York Press.
- Traphagan, J. W. 2000. Taming Oblivion: Aging Bodies and the Fear of Senility in Japan. Albany: State University of New York Press.
- Aoyagi, K., P. J. M. Nas, and J. W. Traphagan (eds.) 1998. Toward Sustainable Cities: Readings in the Anthropology of Urban Environments. Leiden: Institute of Cultural and Social Studies, University of Leiden.
- Onodera, S., T. Nakamura, S. Aizawa, T. Oikawa, J. Traphagan and T. Watanabe. 1995 金ヶ崎の終戦：高谷野原飛行場をめぐる戦争と平和 [The End of the War in Kanegasaki: War and Peace around Kôyanohara Airfield]. Kanegasaki, Japan: Kanegasaki Insatsu.
Refereed Journal Articles
- Traphagan, John W. Under review. Intergenerational Ambivalence, Power, and Perceptions of Elder Suicide in Rural Japan. Journal of Aging Studies.
- Kim, H. and John W. Traphagan. In press. From Socially Weak to Potential Consumer: Changing Discourses of Elder Status in South Korea. Care Management Journals.
- Traphagan, John W. In press. Embodiment, Ritual Incorporation, and Cannibalism among the Iroquoians after 1300 C.E. Journal of Ritual Studies.
- Traphagan, John W. In press. Power, Intergenerational Conflict, and the Discourse on Filial Piety in Rural Japan. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships.
- Traphagan, John W. and Tomoko Nagasawa. In press. Long-Term Care Entrepreneurialism in Japan: Changing Approaches to Caring for Dementia Sufferers. Care Management Journals.
- Traphagan, John W. 2007. Aging in Asia: Perspectives from Qualitative and Quantitative Research. Journal of Long Term Home Health Care 25(2):16-17.
- Traphagan, John W. 2006. Power, Family and Filial Responsibility in Japan. Care Management Journals 7(4):207-214.
- Yap, Mui Teng, Leng Leng Thang, and John W. Traphagan. 2005. Aging in Asia—Perennial Concerns on Support and Caring for the Old. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology 20(4):257-267.
- Traphagan, J. W. 2005. Interpreting Senility: Cross-Cultural Perspectives. Care Management Journals 6(3):145-150.
- Yap, Mui, Leng Leng Thang, and John W. Traphagan. 2005. Introduction: Aging in Asia—Perennial Concerns on Caring for the Old. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology 20(4):257-267.
- Traphagan, J. W. 2005. Heroes of the Antimodern: “Respect for the Elderly Day” and Writing the Narrative of the Elder Generation in Japan. Journal of Ritual Studies 19(2):99-114.
- Henderson, J. Neil and J. W. Traphagan. 2005. Cultural Factors in Dementia: Perspectives from the Anthropology of Aging Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders 19(4):272-274.
- Traphagan, J. W. 2005. Multidimensional Measurement of Religiousness/ Spirituality for Use in Health Research in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Research on Aging 27(4):387-419.
- Traphagan, J. W. 2005. Interpretations of Elder Suicide, Stress and Dependency among Rural Japanese. Ethnology 43(4):315-329.