- 教育社会学研究 (ISSN:03873145)
- vol.69, pp.65-83, 2001
The aim of this paper is to describe the moment when Japanese school culture changes by accepting" newcomer" children, from the point of view of the politics of "borders." The paper is based on observational data obtained in a Japanese class in a particular junior high school. The author focuses on the "border strategies" which a Japanese teacher worked out in order to position herself within the school or classroom, and explores the possibility that they changed the Japanese school. There exist various given "borders" within the Japanese school. Teachers often cope with newcomer children by depending on these given "borders." This can appear in a variety of forms, such as "marginalizing" the special Japanese class and Japanese teacher, "institutionalizing" the relationship with newcomer children, and permitting deviant behavior by newcomer children. All of these contribute toward maintaining the existing school culture. While teachers who teach Japanese in special Japanese classes for foreign children also often use the given "borders" to cope with newcomer children, they find themselves confronted with the contradiction that they themselves are marginalized by these same "borders." This experience can prompt them to reconsider the existing "borders" which they have depended on. The Japanese teacher whose experience is described in this paper positioned herself anew as a "mediator" able to provide a place where different "borders" crossed one another, by becoming aware through the experience of conflict that she did not fit any of the existing "borders" in the school culture. It gave her the chance to try to create a site for overcoming the given "borders" of the school culture within the Japanese class and in her relationship with other teachers.