[SIGCIS-Members] silo metaphor

Janet Abbate abbate at vt.edu
Sat Aug 3 17:18:36 PDT 2013

Fascinating! This metaphor conjures someone unwittingly trapped in their 'silo', rather than someone barricading themselves in. I'm interested in the sense of agency (or lack thereof) in this whole set of metaphors. Often the implication seems to be that some outsider (management consultant) needs to break down the barriers and free the hapless inmates. 


On Aug 3, 2013, at 4:55 40PM, Sharon Traweek wrote:

> Hi
> 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.
> www.kisc.meiji.ac.jp/~ethicj/M%20and%20O%20E2008.pdf
> * 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 http://waste.informatik.hu-berlin.de/Grassmuck/Texts/otaku.d.html
> -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
> http://ssjj.oxfordjournals.org/content/5/2/267.short
> - Hori, Masaharu. "Japanese public bureaucracy in the era of globalisation." _Ritsumeikan Law Review_ 21 (2004): 1-18.
> http://www.asianlii.org/jp/journals/RitsLRev/2004/1.pdf
> Cheers,
> Sharon
> 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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