NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ815972
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-1476-7724
The Concept of "Kokusaika" and Japanese Educational Reform
Goodman, Roger
Globalisation, Societies and Education, v5 n1 p71-87 Mar 2007
Globalisation has become one of the most fashionable concepts in social scientific discourse over the past 15 years, along with a related vocabulary of words such as "transnationalism", "McDonaldisation", "Cocacolanisation", "localisation" and "glocalisation". Much ink has been spilt on how such terms should be defined and used in a theoretical context and how they can be mobilised methodologically, but little agreement has been reached on either score. This paper argues that the lack of consensus about the exact meaning of any new concept results in it becoming what the anthropologist Victor Turner has called a "multivocal symbol". Such symbols are capable of being interpreted in multiple ways by different actors and in some cases can become the site of conflict as different interest groups compete to have their own interpretations accepted as the dominant one. The multivocality of such concepts also means that not only can different words or terms sometimes be used to refer to basically the same process, but also the same terms can be used to describe very different processes. In order to both see how this operates in practice--and what are the implications of its operation--it is necessary to undertake a detailed, "thick description" of the use of such words in a particular social context during a defined historical period. This paper intends to examine the use of the Japanese term "kokusaika" (often translated as internationalisation) and its related expressions from the mid 1980s and in particular focus on how it has been applied in the arena of educational, particularly higher educational, reform. (Contains 2 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan