The State Bearing Gifts

The State Bearing Gifts : Deception and Disaffection in Japanese Higher Education

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Using Japanese higher education as a case study, author Brian J. McVeigh explores the varieties of 'exchange dramatics' among the Education Ministry, universities, faculty, and students. With one eye on large-scale processes and the other on everyday practices, he elucidates trafficking between micro- and macro-levels and key concepts of 'value,' 'exchange,' and 'role performance' by studying how political economy configures dramatization and deception at the everyday level. Relying on extensive ethnographic participant observation and the notion of the 'gift,' McVeigh challenges the commonly accepted idea of 'social contract' for understanding state-society relations. Written to be read as both a political and philosophical commentary and anthropological investigation, this work has theoretical implications for comparative studies of political systems, particularly regarding the relation between self-deception and the ideological manufacture of more

Product details

  • Hardback | 308 pages
  • 160 x 230 x 28mm | 557.93g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739113445
  • 9780739113448

About Brian J. McVeigh

Brian J. McVeigh is visiting assistant professor in the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 The Paradox and Price of the Gift Chapter 2 The Burden of the Beneficiary: Schooling, Legitimacy, and Alienation Chapter 3 Exchange Dramatics: Evaluating the Realness of Value Chapter 4 Dramatizations, Deceptions, and Fronts Chapter 5 Bureaucratic Fetishism and Mutating Institutions Chapter 6 The State as Gift-Giving Machine and Stage Manager Chapter 7 Japan's Strategic Schooling: Education as a Gift from the State Chapter 8 Faces and Fronts: The Licit and Illicit Facets of Japan's Higher Education Chapter 9 Exchanging Untruths at Amadera Women's Academy Chapter 10 Learning National Identity at Amadera Women's Academy Chapter 11 "Examocracy": Examinations as Dramatizations of Self-Worth Chapter 12 Guiding Students through the Official Exchange Circuitry Chapter 13 Education Reform-Mongering: Real and Rhetorical Change Chapter 14 Self-Deception as Alienation: Rethinking Estrangement in Modern Society Chapter 15 Appendix: Varieties of Exchange Chapter 16 A Precis of Alienationshow more

Review quote

This book is an ethnographic, participant-observer study based on the author's extensive experience with ten post-secondary institutions in Japan, in a variety of roles including graduate student, researcher, professor and department chair...It is an intriguing approach that helps us see the data in a different light, to see connections that we might otherwise not see... Presents a fascinating, but disturbing, case study of undergraduate education in Japan. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, Vol 39, No. 1show more