Catalog Home Page

A bricolage exploration ingenkanspace: Tenguand adjunct TEFL in the Japanese university context

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

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


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 internationalising the curriculum. Thus, their condition is understood to be both ambiguous and paradoxical. The Japanese university is likened to genkan (a common architectural feature in Japanese houses resembling an entrance hall or transitional space between inside and outside worlds) space and employing Japanese mythology, it is argued these teachers share features attributed to Tengu (Tengu are goblin-like monsters in Japanese mythology with long noses and bright red faces who traditionally act in mischievous, disruptive ways).

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis Group
Copyright: © 2015 Taylor & Francis
Item Control Page Item Control Page