Beyond Person-Centric Education: Towards Postcolonial Reflections on the Dispositif of the Person from Japanese Indigenous Insights

Hirotaka Sugita, Hiroshima University

Changing and controlling others who are not yet mature, based on goodwill, as the educator desires, even if the person does not want, is analogous to colonialism (Maruyama, 2002). Educators’ benevolent motivation can lead to violence and domination. The emancipatory model of education views the child as a ‘not-yet’, justifying the temporal gap bridged by education (Biesta, 2017). This gap is based on the presumption that the child has the potential to develop, leading to the exclusion of marginalised cases, such as children with severe disabilities. In this context, education and colonialism are not just analogies; they share exclusionary norms that define what it means to be human (Biesta, 2014). As rightly argued by Roberto Esposito as the dispositif of the person, the Western man-centred presumption on the rights holder as a person, which is a normative image of humans, has generated biopolitical violence. This paper expands on the discussion about the limitations of ‘educability’ within biopolitics and education. For instance, on 26 July 2016 a tragic incident in Sagamihara, Japan, witnessed 19 disabled individuals being fatally stabbed in a care home. The suspect advocated legalising the termination of the lives of people with multiple disabilities, sparking condemnation from disability studies scholars in Japan. These scholars argue that discrimination based on disability, often rooted in benevolence and love, can lead to implicit discriminatory attitudes, challenging the assumption that being able-bodied is inherently superior to being disabled (Ichinokawa, 2016).

Being above to be. Education and cultural identity

María Casas Bañares

The primary objective of this paper is to introduce, from an educational perspective, the intricate relationship between cultural identity and personal identity within the framework of postcolonial theories.

Postcolonial theory has experienced notable growth in recent years across all disciplines within the humanities and social sciences, from anthropology to theology (Young, 2009). This broad integration of postcolonial perspectives reflects an increasing recognition of their relevance and applicability in diverse academic fields. As scholars from different disciplines engage with the complexities of postcolonial thought, it becomes evident that its ideas offer valuable tools for critically examining various aspects of our world. This wide influence suggests that postcolonial theory emerges as an intellectual framework informing analysis and discussions in many academic domains. It is a global debate addressing civilizational processes, educational agendas, and curriculum content, appealing to educational institutions, where the colonial legacy has become a central theme seeking to examine both “old” and “new” forms of colonialism (Méndes & Hernández, 2022).