Fostering learning through unlearning institutional boundaries: a ‘team ethnography’ of a liminal intercultural space at a Japanese university

Sachiko Horiguchi, Yuki Imoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper is an ethnographic study of weekly intercultural meetings held at an alternative community space run by a large private university in Tokyo, Japan. Through a ‘team ethnography’, the two authors of this paper illuminate ways in which alternative modes of learning were promoted and institutional boundaries were transgressed and unlearned. We argue that this was made possible by its spatial as well as organisational liminality. We begin with an explanation of Turner's notion of ‘liminality’, which provides our conceptual framework. This is followed by a reflexive account of our methodological approach, which leads us to the ethnographic description of our field site and our engagement in the field. We then analytically situate our ethnography in the larger institutional and social context. Our analysis focuses on the transgression and ‘unlearning’ of professional hierarchies, age-related, ethnic and linguistic boundaries that permeate the mainstream Aoba institution as well as how alternative, experiential learning is promoted at this liminal site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-106
Number of pages15
JournalEthnography and Education
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 2

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ethnography
university
learning
private university
Japan
linguistics
community

Keywords

  • intercultural exchange
  • Japan
  • liminality
  • team ethnography
  • university

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Cultural Studies
  • Gender Studies

Cite this

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