Drawing on ethnographic data gathered from fieldwork spanning a 15-year period, this book offers new insights into understanding the lives and experiences of women managers in Japan. Based on empirical case studies, it explores the ways in which professional women in Tokyo creatively mobilize their friendships as a strategic site for mitigating the disappointments in their working lives, and conceptualizing new understandings of independence and equality. It analyses their use of language, time, space and money to negotiate new identities in an increasingly flexible work environment. In examining the challenges and opportunities faced by these corporate workers, this book also extends anthropological debates about the changing meaning and importance of work for women, as well as their relationship with money and separation from the realm of domesticity.
As a study of women's lives in and out of the workplace in Japan, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of Japanese studies, Japanese culture and society, anthropology, sociology, gender and women's studies.
Table of Contents
1. De-mystifying the social world of Japanese women
2. Exceptional lives, extraordinary friends
3. Any time, any place
4. Strategic drinking as producers of money
5. Surviving without role models
6. A self-chartered course
Swee-Lin Ho is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at the National University of Singapore. She has previously worked as an auditor, financial journalist and business executive across Asia and Europe.