- 教育社会学研究 (ISSN:03873145)
- vol.80, pp.247-267[含 英語文要旨], 2007
The aim of this paper is to examine relations between Japanese and foreigners in terms of educational support in communities from the perspective of the maintenance and change of relations. The paper clarifies the relationship by analyzing the gaze and interactions between undergraduate students and the newcomer children to whom they provide educational support. Previous research has discussed the educational problems of newcomers in the context of Japanese school culture. However, in order to focus on the relationship between Japanese and foreigners and to explain the maintenance and changing of the power of majority, it is necessary to study not only the school but also the relations in the community. In addition, some practical research focuses on educational support activities for newcomers, but is based on experiences rather than a theoretical background, and tends to find that support activities by NPOs have the potential to revolutionize the social system. However, some argue that relations between the majority and minority can be asymmetrical in the context of voluntary support. Therefore, this paper analyzes qualitative data, examining whether asymmetrical power relations between Japanese and newcomers are built or not within support activities in a community by an NPO, and how the relations are maintained or changed. The author interviewed and observed three undergraduate students participating in an NPO that provides educational supports for newcomer children. The following findings are obtained. First, the undergraduates had asymmetrical relations with the newcomer children, as they problematized the children's behavior. However, opportunities stemming from conflicts with the children led to the dissolution of the asymmetrical relations over "problems," as the undergraduates asked "questions" to understand the children. Second, while asymmetrical relations were maintained over "support," there was also a change in the relations with the children and parents. When the focus of narration is the worth of support activities rather than relations with newcomers, the categories of "Japanese who support foreigners" and "foreigners who are supported by Japanese" are fixed, and the asymmetrical relations are maintained. On the other hand, when a person has personal relationships with newcomers, and renarrates the problems and needs of newcomers as his/her "own problems," the asymmetrical relations change. If Japanese supporters consider the relations between themselves to be more important than those with newcomers, they become blind to their asymmetrical relationship and conceal it under the story of "support." This leads to a paradox of support under which relations are fixed as long as Japanese support newcomers. However, if Japanese re-narrate the needs of newcomers as their "own problems," they can free themselves from the asymmetry and create alternative relations with newcomers Previous research failed to sufficiently examine the power relations in support activities. Only looking at the positive side of support by NPOs, however, can blind one to the asymmetrical relations in support. Simply providing support for minorities does not free one from power relations. Research on relations between Japanese and foreigners in support activities in communities should be continued.