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ERIC Number: EJ1150489
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1478-2103
Provocative Encounters Reflecting Struggles with Change: Power and Coercion in a Japanese University Situation
Toh, Glenn
Policy Futures in Education, v15 n4 p512-525 May 2017
This article examines a case of what Olssen et al. (2004) call "managerial oppression" set in a faculty of international studies of a Japanese university. Japanese universities have, in recent times, been facing the financial pressures of a falling birthrate and dwindling enrolments. To remain solvent, some universities have had to reinvent their curriculum in the hope of attracting students. Institutional renewal, as will be noted, does not occur without accompanying complications relating to power and politics. In the present case, these complications are attributable to tensions created within an ideological dialectic of openness and closedness (Peters and Roberts, 2012) as universities face the dilemmas of globalization alongside the endurance of conservative mercantilist philosophies traceable to policies set during Japan's post-war occupation by Allied forces. Through a critical examination of a series of instances of bullying and coercion, I seek in this article to argue that bullying and coercion are not random or idiosyncratic but are instead embedded in larger socio-political epistemologies that impinge on education and influence the way institutional agendas and managerialist decisions can adversely affect or defile human behavior. In this way, I seek not only to make a contribution to current understandings of language policy, ideology, power and higher education in Japan, but more uniquely, to establish a connection between ideological closed mindedness, corporate managerialism and acts of institutionalized bullying and coercion.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Test of English for International Communication
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A