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ERIC Number: EJ932509
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
ISSN: ISSN-0218-8791
Mixed Messages: Discourses of Education in Policy Speeches to the Japanese Diet
Rear, David
Asia Pacific Journal of Education, v31 n2 p129-142 2011
This paper will examine how Japanese education policy was articulated discursively from 1996 to 2010 in the semi-annual speeches of prime ministers to the Diet. It will identify three distinct discourses within these policy statements: a progressive discourse emphasizing the rights of individuals; a neo-liberal discourse of social independence and multi-tracked schooling; and a moral conservative discourse of patriotism and social conformism. In the 1990s, progressive and neo-liberal discourses held sway. Discursively, they were centred on key phrases such as "kosei jushi" ("respect for individuality") and "sozosei" (creativity), which were employed in a strategically ambiguous way to satisfy both progressive and neo-liberal demands. In the 2000s, however, right-wing politicians began to push a moral conservative agenda, which emphasized not the rights of individuals but their subservience to the wider needs of society and state. With neo-liberalism backed by powerful business interests, policymakers had to find a way to reconcile these two conflicting viewpoints discursively. They did this by binding the concept of individuality to traditional notions of Japanese identity and national citizenship, creating a hybrid discourse that attempted to blur the fundamental difference in ideologies. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan