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CJS Noon Lecture - Housewives and Salarymen in Postbubble Japan: Are We Facing a Changing Gender Contract?

Thursday, March 14, 2013
4:00 AM
Room 1636, School of Social Work Bldg.

The "standard family" consisting of a breadwinner salaryman and a professional housewife (sengyo shufu) has become one of the major socio-cultural identifying marks of postwar Japan. This pattern, I argue, could not have developed independently from what I refer to as the "Japanese corporate gender contract." The "signatories" of this contract include not only male corporate warriors and full-time housewives, but also the Japanese State, which should be seen as a conglomerate of various agencies such as the corporate sector, the media and the market. The burst of the economic bubble has undoubtedly had an impact on the corporate system and its strength. In my talk I will raise questions about the relationship between corporate changes and possible changes in the social contract between men and women in postbubble Japan.

About the Speaker:
Ofra Goldstein-Gidoni is the chair of the department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University, where she holds a joint position with the Department of East Asian Studies. Her latest book Housewives of Japan: An Ethnography of Real Lives and Consumerized Domesticity was recently published by Palgrave Macmillan. She is also the author of Packaged Japaneseness: Weddings, Business and Brides.

Ofra Goldstein-Gidoni