Homogeneity and diversity: comparing Japanese and American perspectives on harmony and disagreement

Ethics and Education 4 (2):153-162 (2010)
My article aims to develop a relational, pluralistic political theory that moves beyond standard theories of liberal democracy, and to consider how such a theory translates into our public school settings. I use a narrative style argument to share stories that focus on homogeneity and diversity from my visit to a Japanese elementary school, as I consider, drawing on the work of Chantal Mouffe, the important role harmony and disagreement, and a tension between homogeneity and diversity, play in encouraging citizens to contribute to their school and their larger communities in a democracy-always-in-the-making. I argue that there is much we can learn from Japanese educational practices
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