Overcoming Social Inequality Through Shadow Education?


This chapter summarizes the main findings of the book by addressing the central question underlying all prior analyses: Is there a possibility that shadow education is used as an instrument to neutralize a student’s disadvantaged family background and thus serves as an explanation for high educational outcomes but low socioeconomic impact on these outcomes among Japanese students? Or does a high dependence on shadow education as found in Japan inevitably contribute to the reproduction or increase of educational and social inequalities? By bringing together the specific findings of the different chapters of the book, the following overall finding is presented: Shadow education in Japan enables students to neutralize their disadvantaged family background – if certain conditions are met. Based on this assessment, the conceptual implications stemming from the Shadow-Education-Inequality-Impact (SEII) Frame as introduced in Chap.  1 of this book and its specific outliers for the field of international shadow education are presented. Hence, researchers are encouraged to make use of the introduced SEII Frame for future research on shadow education in different settings, while treating the Japanese model of shadow education as exemplary role model for such research. Finally, some recommendations for politicians and researchers alike are made.


Shadow education Juku Private tutoring Supplementary education Social inequality Education reform, Yutori education Educational competition Credentialist society Schooled society SEII Frame 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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