chapter  8
18 Pages

Japanese working-class masculinities: marginalized complicity

ByJAMES E . ROBERSON

Making use of the recent literature on men and masculinities, in this chapter1 I bring a gender-informed perspective to bear in refocusing my attention on the men working at the small metals factory where I have conducted research (see Roberson 1995a, 1995b, 1998a, 1998b). The goal of the chapter is to contribute to the discussion of the multiplicity of masculinities manifest in Japan by considering the inter-articulation of class and gender among the working-class men I studied. I hope to show how, through practice, these men simultaneously reproduce a class-based masculinity that in many ways is different and marginalized from hegemonic middleclass masculinity and yet is complicit with the hegemony of the white-collar, middle-class salaryman model of masculinity and the patriarchal system of gendered relations in Japan.