Resistance in Education: Japanese and Western Theoretical Sites 1948-1980

Burnett, Bruce M. (2004) Resistance in Education: Japanese and Western Theoretical Sites 1948-1980. Electronic Journal of Sociology, 2004, pp. 1-21.


This paper seeks to revisit traditional neomarxist western understandings of student resistance within the context of the major postwar Japanese student movement. Despite the fact that Japanese student unrest preceded many of the theoretical contributions of student resistance from the west, such as that produced by the Birmingham School in the 1980s, little or no attention in Western theory has been directed towards the distinctive collective component of resistance displayed in Japan. The most influential understandings of western educational resistance during the 1970s and 1980s were premised on notions of an informal, disorganized and apolitical understanding of agency and in particular the theoretical neomarxist underpinnings of the researcher. In contrast, in the Japanese case it is the students themselves who are entrenched in a Marxist paradigm that governs a range of outcomes. This paper traces the development of postwar Japanese educational resistance (1948 to 1975) and questions the ability of western resistance-based theory to embrace the notions of collectivity inherent within the Japanese context. At the heart of the paper is therefore the central question of how applicable were historical sets of neomarxist understandings of resistance to cultural, theoretical and ideological forms of 'counter-hegemony' removed from Western settings.

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ID Code: 7380
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Resistance Theory, Japanese Education
ISSN: 1198 3655
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 04 May 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:05

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