Shadow Education and Social Inequality in Japan


Research on shadow education frequently stressed that a participation in shadow education is highly restricted by socioeconomic background, consequently fostering educational and social inequalities. Based on a literature review and a discussion of international and Japanese research findings on the subject, this chapter outlines the general problematic underlying the book and its contents and structure. In doing so, a formalized conceptual frame suited to analyze the possible negative and positive implications of shadow education on inequality is developed, called the Shadow–Education–Inequality–Impact (SEII) Frame. This frame draws on the four main dimensions that affect the implications of shadow education for social and educational inequalities: Access, Effects, Continuity, and Change. Since there exists a general lack of empirical verification of assumptions such as that shadow education inevitably contributes to social reproduction, two main proposals are brought forth: First, researchers shall be encouraged to make use of the introduced SEII Frame for future research on shadow education in different settings, particularly to identify possible evolving patterns in the field. Second, the Japanese model of shadow education shall be treated as an exemplary role model for such research.


Shadow education Juku Private tutoring Supplementary education Extended education Social inequality Educational opportunities Educational competition Education policy Schooled society SEII Frame PISA 2012 HHSS 1997 HHSS 2011 JSTS 2013 Japan 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department for Education, Social Science Educational ResearchUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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