Japan's Diversity Dilemmas: Ethnicity, Citizenship, and Education

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Soo im Lee, Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, Harumi Befu
iUniverse, 2006 - Social Science - 249 pages
Japan's Diversity Dilemmas: Ethnicity, Citizenship, and Education reveals how Japanese society is now in the midst of dramatic transformation brought on by demographic change and globalization. Foreigners are coming to Japan and many more will come in the near future to meet the demands of an economy that needs workers to compensate for an extremely low birth rate. The ramifications of this influx of foreigners into a society that has based its identity on a mythical ethnic purity are enormous.

This book examines the effects of globalization on both new and older ethnic communities. It shows the ways in which minorities, in particular Koreans, are changing their conceptions and practices regarding nationality. It explores issues of human rights and emerging conceptions of citizenship in Japan. It also looks at how forces of globalization are affecting the state ideology of homogeneity and how a new image of diversity and multiculturalism is slowly developing. Several authors focus their attention on implications for education in citizenship education, ethnic education, and international education.

Japan's Diversity Dilemmas is not just about minorities, but addresses issues of diversity that impact Japan as a nation in three areas: ethnicity, citizenship, and education. As the population diversifies, the linking of ethnicity and citizenship is being challenged and education is a battleground where these struggles occur. This collection of papers by an interdisciplinary group of authors helps readers to understand Japan's evolving conceptions of the nation and its attempts to balance tensions of unity and diversity.

'Japan's Diversity Dilemmas looks at precisely the kind of issues that need examination and discussion, as Japan stands on the cusp of potentially huge demographic and social changes. This collection of studies will enrich and inform classroom and public discourse and those who follow these issues will find this book essential."
-Sharon Noguchi, San Jose Mercury News and former Fulbright Fellow, University of Tokyo


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