chapter  8
18 Pages

Rethinking male socialisation: life histories of Japanese male youth F U TO SHI TAG A

After Japan’s defeat in the Second World War, democratisation and modernisation were promoted by the Allied Powers, and Japan witnessed a period of “miraculous” economic growth from the 1950s. During this period, the terms sarariiman [from the neologism “salaryman”, meaning “the salaried, white-collar employee of a private-sector organisation”] and sengyô-shufu [full-time housewife] came to comprise the hegemonic discourse concerning gender (Dasgupta 2000). In a public opinion poll conducted in 1972 (the subjects of the study discussed in this chapter were born at around this time), over 80 per cent of respondents of both sexes agreed with the sarariiman/sengyô-shufu gender division of labour: “husbands work outside the home, and wives are responsible for the housekeeping” (Sôri-fu Kôhô-shitsu 1998).