[SIGCIS-Members] silo metaphor

Sharon Traweek traweek at history.ucla.edu
Sat Aug 3 13:55:40 PDT 2013

For those of us wondering whether/how the silo metaphor translates:

In Japan a *tako-tsubo [octopus pot]* is used to capture those 
invertebrates; once an octopus climbs into the pot it cannot escape. 
Tako-tsubo is used in Japan as a metaphor for people who join a government 
ministry, a company, a discipline, a specialty, a club, etc and then form 
few other ties. [Takotsubo has been translated as squid pot and fox hole.]

* This article discusses difficulties of introducing ICT education into 
traditional takotsubo (discipline-based) university curricula: Murata, Kiyoshi, 
and Yohko Orito. "Three Challenges for Japanese ICT Professionalism." 
_Proceedings of ETHICOMP 2008_ (2008): 577-585.

* See also references to takotsubo in this discussion of the so-called otaku 
generation in Japan: "Allein, aber nicht einsam" die otaku-
Generation: Zu einigen neueren Trends in der japanischen Populr-und 
Medienkultur Volker Grassmuck in: Norbert Bolz, Friedrich Kittler, Christoph 
Tholen (Hrsg.), _Computer als Medium_, Wilhelm Fink Verlag Mnchen 1993 
-Older English version [without the takotsubo reference]: "I'm alone, but not 
lonely" Japanese Otaku-Kids colonize the Realm of Information and Media A Tale 
of Sex and Crime from a faraway Place. Volker Grassmuck (Dec
1990) http://waste.informatik.hu-berlin.de/Grassmuck/Texts/otaku.e.html

* In 1961 a prominent Japanese political scientist, Masao Maruyama
(1914-96) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masao_Maruyama_%28scholar%29
described Japan as a takutsubo society in his _Nihon no shiso_
(Japanese Thought). Iwanami Shoten, 1961. See also:
- J. Victor Koschmann review of "Maruyama Masao, Nihon no Shis Seidoku (An
Explication of Japanese Thought by Maruyama Masao), by Miyamura Haruo.
Tokyo: Iwanami Gendai Bunko, 2001, 224 pp.,
_Social Science Japan Journal_ 5, no. 2 (2002): 267-270
- Hori, Masaharu. "Japanese public bureaucracy in the era of globalisation." 
_Ritsumeikan Law Review_ 21 (2004): 1-18.

Sharon Traweek, UCLA Gender Studies & History Departments, with strong
ties to the Anthropology & Information Studies Departments, as well as
the Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies. My PhD is from the 
interdisciplinary UCSC History of Consciousness Program. [As you can see, 
unlike many academics, I do not fit into a takotsubo.]

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