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ERIC Number: EJ865162
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0218-8791
Is Japanese Education the "Exception"?: Examining the Situated Articulation of Neo-Liberalism through the Analysis of Policy Keywords
Takayama, Keita
Asia Pacific Journal of Education, v29 n2 p125-142 Jun 2009
This article builds on the author's earlier work, published in Vol. 28 No. 1 of this journal, that critiqued the Orientalist legacy in Anglo-American discussions of Japanese education. One of the manifestations of this legacy is the prevailing view among the Anglo-American observers of Japanese education that Japanese education is the "exception" to the recent global restructuring movement. This article problematizes this view by exposing a similar but differently articulated structural change in Japanese education over the past three decades. Drawing on cultural studies and critical discourse analysis, the author focuses on the two policy keywords that the Ministry of Education has consistently used by for the past three decades: "kosei" (individuality) and "yutori" (low pressure). Tracing the complex histories of articulation and rearticulation of these policy keywords, the author demonstrates how the keywords, which had been associated with progressive political struggles against the Ministry's central control of public education, were mobilized to reconstitute people's common sense about education and thus to naturalize the radical systemic change towards the neo-liberal, post-welfare settlement. In conclusion, the author discusses the implication of the study to the field of comparative and international education, calling for a more critical, reflexive engagement with the field's preoccupation with "national differences". (Contains 10 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan