Japanese Femininities

By Justin Charlebois

© 2013 – Routledge

160 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415662581
pub: 2013-07-25
US Dollars$145.00

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About the Book

The corporate salaryman and professional housewife stand as hegemonic archetypes of masculinity and femininity in Japan. However, these rigid gender roles are being challenged by women who are seeking to move beyond the strictly defined confines of their traditional roles as caregivers and homemakers.

Through interviews with a range of Japanese women, this book explores how women’s gender roles are both reified and undermined in Japan today, and uncovers the prevalent themes, or ‘discourses’, that are utilized to construct gendered identities. It shows that while dominant discourses formulate notions of femininity within the domestic sphere, these are simultaneously resisted and problematized by contemporary women. To this end, Justin Charlebois traces the construction of different ‘oppositional’ femininities, such as the single career woman and married working mother, which challenge, destabilize, and potentially reconfigure the traditional gender order.

This book makes an important contribution to our understanding of gender roles and femininity in Japan, and as such will be of great interest to students and scholars of Japanese culture and society, gender studies and women's studies.

Table of Contents

1. Hegemonic Masculinity and Emphasized Femininity in Post-World War II Japan 2. The Social Construction of Gender 3. Methodology, Data Collection, and Research Participants 4. Dominant Discourses Constituting Emphasized Femininity 5. Related Discourses Constituting Emphasized Femininity 6. Oppositional Femininities 7. Conclusion

About the Author

Justin Charlebois is Associate Professor of Communication in the Department of Global Culture and Communication at Aichi Shukutoku University, Japan.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Japan Series

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of contemporary Japan.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies