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Theoretical Approach

How to Theoretically Grasp the Implications of Shadow Education on Educational and Social Differentials in Japan?
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Abstract

The field of shadow education research remains generally under-theorized. Only seldom do studies apply distinct theoretical concepts to capture the causes and implications of shadow education investments for social inequality. Addressing the question whether there are adequate theoretical concepts to explain the possible implications of shadow education investments on educational and social inequality formation suited to be applied in the Japanese context also, based on an international literature review, the following three major concepts are identified and outlined:
  1. (1)

    Rational Choice Theory (RCT), particularly Relative Risk Aversion and Subjective Expected Utility Theories,

     
  2. (2)

    Shadow Education Investment Theory (SEIT), and

     
  3. (3)

    Neo-Institutionalist Theory (NIT). These concepts are evaluated for their usability for analyses of the four dimensions outlined in the Shadow–Education–Inequality–Impact (SEII) Frame: Access, Effects, Continuity, and Change of shadow education investments for social inequalities. In conclusion, the outlined concepts share one fundamental similarity: The demand for shadow education is understood as an investment based on rational cost–benefit considerations of forward-looking individuals, whereas the outcomes of such investments are believed to foster social inequalities.

     

Keywords

Shadow education Juku Private tutoring Supplementary education Social inequality Educational decision-making Insecurity Rational choice theory Shadow education investment theory Neo-institutional theory Relative risk aversion theory Subjective expected utility theory SEII frame 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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