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Assumptions and Distortions: Dore on Equality in Japanese Schooling

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Ronald Dore's work on education in Japan centred on themes of selection and equality. In his work on Tokugawa education, Dore presaged some of the emphasis he gave in his later work on quality and social and moral content in modern education. The argument of The Diploma Disease concerned the "late development effect" as a tool in understanding the emphasis on qualification and selection that led to Japan's postwar examination hypertrophy, and in understanding the distortions and inequities that ensued. "Late ascription"—tracking and determining one's life chances with a single examination—was one such distortion, narrowing the gate to educational and occupational success, belying the notion that Japan demonstrates a pure "meritocracy."
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Keywords: CREDENTIALS; DEMOCRACY; INEQUALITY; LATE DEVELOPMENT EFFECT; MODERNIZATION; QUALIFICATION; SELECTION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2019

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