This project explores empirically student and staff conceptualisations of Japanese Studies with the aim of helping us understand better the tacit assumptions that structure our approach to learning and teaching about Japan in Higher Education. Drawing on constructivist theories from education studies and employing grounded theory methods, we conducted and analysed interviews and focus groups with academics and students across the UK, asking questions about attributes, values, norms and distinct concepts that make Japanese Studies a distinct field of academic practice. Our findings show that a cluster of concepts including proximity, culture, nuance, legitimacy, and identity are all imbricated in the study of Japan, and that these concepts may provide a basis for constructive dialogue on not only Japanese Studies as a degree, but Japanese Studies as a negotiated and evolving set of worldviews.
- education Studies
- grounded theory
- ways of thinking and practising