1st Edition

Life in a Japanese Women's College Learning to be Ladylike

By Brian J. McVeigh Copyright 1997
    288 Pages
    by Routledge

    280 Pages
    by Routledge

    One third of the Japanese female workforce are 'office ladies' and their training takes place in the many women's junior colleges. Office ladies are low-wage, low-status secretaries who have little or no job security.
    Brian J. McVeigh draws on his experience as a teacher at one such institution to explore the cultural and social processes used to promote 'femininity' in Japanese women. His detailed and ethnographically-informed study considers how the students of these institutions are socialized to fit their future dual roles of employees and mothers, and illuminates the sociopolitical role that the colleges play in Japanese society as a whole.

    1. Introduction: Purposes, Premises, and Problems 2. Mental Acts as Social Behaviour: Reuniting Body, Mind and Practice 3. The Ethnomorality of Etiquette: The Cultural Context of Takasu International College 4. Cultivating 'Ladylike' and 'International' Women at Takasu 5. Takasu as an Institution 6. Ceremonies of Culture in a Culture of Ceremony 7. Becoming an 'Office Lady': Engendering Gender through the Body 8. Students: The Politics of Shyness and Schooling 9. Leaving College Life and Entering the Adult World 10. Conclusion: Socialization, Gender, Schooling and the State Bibliography Index


    Brian J McVeigh is Associate Professor, Toyo Gakuen University, Tokyo