As a Japan researcher, I am perfectly accustomed to the exoticization of all things linked to Japan in most journalistic accounts. That includes the rare articles on juku, of course. But the cherry blossoms, “Fujiyama”, geisha, etc. articles and motifs have nothing on the extent to which I am accustomed to the exoticization of Manhattan as a supplementary education researcher.
This week, Jenny Anderson had an article on tutors hired by parents of selective Manhattan schools. While the article (and the comments on it) contain a lot of interesting information and discussion, it’s hard not to read this information with an easy “ts, ts, ts, these überrich Manhattanites” reaction.
That kind of reaction misses the reality of the Manhattan situation for many parents around the world. For the U.S., hypereducation may be limited to the always-exotic island of Manhattan (minus palm trees and jungle), but in countries like Brazil, Egypt, Greece, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Turkey, among others, it is a pervasive reality.