Gakureki kakusa no keizaigaku
[The Economics of Academic Disparity]
Keisō Shobō, 2009. 186 pp. ¥2,400. ISBN 978-4-326-50316-2.
Also published in: n/a
From the country’s point of view, education is a means for shaping society and ensuring the succession of culture, whereas from the point of view of the individual, it is often an economic activity with clear objectives. The increasing number of Japanese students moving away from science has recently become a topical issue, with the underlying reasons considered to be related to the school system and teaching methods. This book carries out a statistical analysis and shows that compared to people with a humanities background, those with a science and technology background are at a clear disadvantage in terms of both income and position. It also takes a fresh look at one aspect of contemporary Japanese society by looking at such areas as the relationship between academic background and parents’ income, the secrets of the popularity of medical schools, the reasons why private elementary and junior high schools get preference, and how Waseda and Keiō came to be prestigious universities.
Knowledge of the state of education is essential to understanding Japanese culture. However, information on the public education system and school administration is not enough for true understanding. Areas untouched by the power of public education, such as the role of cram schools or the awareness of students and parents, impact enormously upon the awareness and behavior of Japanese people and upon the state of Japanese society. In that sense, this is an essential volume for understanding Japan. (CK)
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