|About the Book|
This monograph is a substantial contribution to our knowledge of the internal workings of a Japanese university, focussing on the world view of the professor. In this anthropological case study of a private university in urban Tokyo conducted throughMoreThis monograph is a substantial contribution to our knowledge of the internal workings of a Japanese university, focussing on the world view of the professor. In this anthropological case study of a private university in urban Tokyo conducted through extended participant observation, Gregory Poole, at once both an insider and outsider, tells an ethnographic story that explicates a professoriates working world. The author addresses one basic problem-how do Japanese professors configure their working world? In answering this research question, he demonstrates how the present climate of competition and restructuring means that faculty members in Japan are faced with the challenge of culturally translating largely western concepts of the university while steadfastly preserving their own local culture of higher education. This book describes the resulting cultural debates and competing discourses that surround the key concepts in the work-life of Japanese professors. It is of special interest to scholars in the fields of comparative education, Japanese Studies, and sociocultural anthropology as well as academic and administrative staff employed at universities in Japan and abroad. There have been few anthropological analyses of the lives and work of university professors in Japan, or for that matter, anywhere else. Poole is able to give satisfactory explanations perhaps for the first time in the English literature as to why Japanese universities function in the ways that they do, ways that sometimes seem bizarre and counter-productive to the western observer. J.S. Eades, Professor of Anthropology and Dean of the School of Asia Pacific Studies, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. Gregory S. Poole is Professor of Anthropology in the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Tsukuba. His area of research includes the anthropology of education, language, and Japan and his publications include Higher Education in East Asia: Neoliberalism and the Professoriate (2009), co-edited with Ya-chen Chen, and The Japanese University in Crisis (2005), coauthored with Ikuo Amano (Higher Education).