That we live in a world ruled and confused by cultural diversities has become common sense. It was the social sciences that gave birth to a new theoretical paradigm, the creation of cultural theories. Since then, social science theorizing applies to any social phenomenon across the world exploring cultural diversities in any social practice—except in regard to the social sciences and how they practice the creation of knowledge. How academics in the social sciences across the world create knowledge is no topic for cultural theories. Social science theorizing seemingly assumes that creating knowledge does not know such diversities.
Kazumi Okamoto presents the development of an analytical instrument that helps study ‘academic culture’, analyze ‘academic practices’ of how social sciences create and distribute knowledge, and the influence the ‘academic environment’ has on their knowledge productions. Applying this theoretical tool to the academe in Japan, she further presents a case study about how social scientists in Japan interpret academic practices and how they are affected by their academic environment. Studying the academic culture in the case of Japan, she reveals that not only the academic practices and the academic environment of the academe in Japan show much less diversities than cultural theories tend to presuppose, but that the assumption that creating social science knowledge does not know cultural diversities is an error as well.