This book is about education, ideology, power and identity investment and concerns an influential East Asian expatriate community. Specifically, it seeks to understand particular ways in which the Japanese white-collar elite live as a closed and self-referentially defined in-group, despite the manifestly multicultural ethos of their Singaporean domicile. The study attends to issues regarding schooling, unity, diversity and community based on grounded anthropological observations. Specific observations centre around the particularities of Japanese nation-state schooling practices set in cosmopolitan Singapore, a contrastingly non-Japanese setting. The insights therein are made possible by way of seeing education as an ideological domain and powerful discursive platform. Using this framework, cultural and identity-related practices are viewed dynamically and appreciated for their fluidic reflection of identity praxes.
Readers will gain fresh insights into the role of education and ideology in reproducing asymmetry and the value of sociohistorical analyses in surfacing hidden power relations. Researchers, educators and decision makers will appreciate the transparency of grounded ethnographic observation yielding insights into practices which imbricate inclusion-exclusion and privilege-marginalization debates within a neoliberal hegemony. Students of the social politics of education and the cultural politics of language, ideology and identity will find the book a provocative read.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations 1. Japanese culture and overseas schooling: critiquing academic miscreance and pretentions to objectivity and generalizability 2. The Japanese in Japan (and overseas) 3. Singapore: colonization, independence and industrialization 4. Singapore’s Japanese presence: businesses, institutions and symbolisms 5. Japanese schooling in Singapore: institutions, ideologies and identity investments 6. Japanese engagements with English overseas as a cultural politics of control 7. Interrogating ‘Singapore-as-technology’ in the reproduction of Japaneseness
Glenn Toh teaches in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He has written books and articles on language, ideology, power and education and continues to maintain an ongoing interest in current developments in the area.