Community learning, leadership and gender: the case of kominkan in Okayama City, Japan

Yorozu-Kurata, Rika (2021) Community learning, leadership and gender: the case of kominkan in Okayama City, Japan. Ed.D thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This dissertation is about leadership and gender in community learning in Japan focusing on a case of women professionals working in kominkan in Okayama City. Kominkan is a public and local educational institution providing community learning and community development services across Japan. Characteristics of leadership practiced by women in promoting transformative community learning for themselves as well as community members were analysed.

Based on a constructivist paradigm and critical feminist perspectives, my research used qualitative methods covering analysis of national and local policy documents and information-communication materials by kominkan and narrative text and voice data from individual interviews with ten female staff members of kominkan in Okayama City. Validation of early analysis was conducted through informal group discussion and follow-up interview with two participants. During the collection and analysis of primary data, I applied voice-centred relational method (Mauthner and Doucet, 1998; Jankowska, 2014) in conducting and reflecting on in-depth feminist interviews (Reinharz and Chase, 2001; Doucet and Mauthner, 2008) in Okayama City in 2016 and 2017. Drawing on leadership characteristics of women by Grogan and Shakeshaft (2010), I analysed the research participants’ experiences with leadership and gender and their aspirations. One of my findings is that they are exercising transformative leadership with feminist critical perspectives. Their leadership is less visible than stereotypical (male) leaders; they define leadership as kuroko (backstage supporter in traditional Japanese play supporting main actor or puppets) or what Cranton and Write (2008) called learning companions. Women are the majority in the community learning and lifelong learning profession in Japan and other countries. Understanding and appreciating women’s leadership styles is important in improving the professional development programmes as well as the quality of community learning programmes lead by them. Recommendations I propose for Okayama City may be significant for other local governments that want to take serious measures to promote women working in this profession in Japan and other countries.

Item Type: Thesis (Ed.D)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: community learning, leadership, gender.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Slade, Professor Bonnie
Date of Award: 2021
Depositing User: Ms Rika Yorozu
Unique ID: glathesis:2021-82244
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2021 16:45
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2021 17:13
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82244

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