Amae and Freedom in Everyday Language: Toward Transcultural Educational Theory

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  • 日常語における「甘え」と「自由」 --文化越境的な教育理論の構築に向けて--

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This paper aims to clarify the connection between amae in Japan and freedom in Germany in everyday language and to make suggestions to form a transcultural educational theory with them. The concept of amae was introduced in the book The Anatomy of Dependence, written by Japanese psychiatrist Doi Takeo (1920–2009). According to Doi, amae is peculiar to the everyday language of Japanese, yet common to mankind as a psychological phenomenon that is always at work in the formation of human relationships. However, his suggestion of transcultural adoption of "freedom to amaeru" by the Western world was not based on a sufficient understanding of "freedom" in everyday language in the Western world. This paper attempts to modify and develop this point by a research interview about freedom in everyday language with a German graduate student. By suggesting an alternative interpretation of freedom in childhood through the concept of amae, this paper concludes that amae can provide a third possibility in addition to the possibilities of freedom and constraint in modern educational theory and a point of contact in everyday language for transcultural dialogue on educational theories.



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