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A bricolage exploration in genkan space: Tengu and adjunct TEFL in the Japanese university context

Whitsed, C. and Wright, P.ORCID: 0000-0002-6433-3889 (2016) A bricolage exploration in genkan space: Tengu and adjunct TEFL in the Japanese university context. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 29 (4). pp. 594-615.

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This paper reports on research focusing on a group of adjunct teachers of English employed in Japanese universities. Grounded in interpretive epistemology foregrounding constructionist traditions, this research employed bricolage as way of inquiring into, then representing, these teacher’s experiences utilising multi-perspectival, multi-theoretical and multi-methodological approaches. Employing elements of Turnerian liminality and blending these with Japanese cultural mythology, this paper explores participants’ experience, knowledge and identity. Through interviews and focus groups participants (n=43) gave voice to their lived world in Japanese universities locating their ‘place’ as simultaneously inside and outside the boundaries of mainstream Japanese society and universities. As ‘liminal personas’ participants likened themselves to a ‘necessary evil’ in the context of internationalizing the curriculum. Thus, their condition is understood to be both ambiguous and paradoxical. The Japanese university is likened to genkan1 space and employing Japanese mythology it is argued these teachers share features attributed to Tengu2.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for University Teaching and Learning
School of Education
Publisher: Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis Group
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