22 Jan @12:30

Transition to a post-catch-up modernity: the case of Japan

Speaker(s): Takehiko Kariya

Date: 12:30 on Mon, 22 Jan 2018

Duration: 1.5 hours

Seminar Series: Lunchtime Seminars

Lecture Theatre, Manor Road Building,Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ

Japan is among just a few non-western countries to have experienced both ‘catch-up’ (with the West) and what might be called a ‘post catch-up modernization’. Undergoing these two stages of distinct social transformation, Japanese society has encountered difficulties in making a smooth transition from catch-up to post-catch-up modernity. This is particularly clear in the field of education. In this paper, I place these Japanese experiences in a global context, and discuss what implications they have for sociological research on education as well as what theoretical contributions such a lens can contribute to recent debates on modernity across the social sciences.
I argue that the Japanese mind-set that was built up over the catch-up modernization period later greatly impacted the ways problems were socially constructed in education during the transition to the post-catch-up stage. In this respect, the Japanese experiences provide a rich example of the paradoxical results of successful catch-up modernization: an unintentional slide into failure in the envisaged transition towards postcatch-up modernity. Through analyzing these experiences, this paper will explicate and theorize a mechanism in which how misrecognition and misguidance are generated within the transition from catch-up to post-catchup modernity.