Young Women in Japan: Transitions to Adulthood

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-04-15
  • Publisher: Routledge
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This book examines young women in Japan, focusing in particular on their transitions to adulthood, their conceptions of adulthood and relations with Japanese society more generally. Drawing on detailed primary research including a year-long observation of high schools and subsequent interviews over a 12 year period, it traces the experiences of a group of working class women from their last year of high-schooling in 1989 through to 2001 as they approached their thirties. It considers important aspects of the transition to adulthood including employment, marriage, divorce, childbirth and custody. It shows how the role and identities of young women changed over the course of the 1990s, exploring the impact of changes within Japanese society and global forces, and explains fully the implications for ordinary young people and their everyday lives. It considers to what extent young women'"s perceptions of themselves and society are shifting, and how far this can be explained by external constraints and their own experiences and decisions.

Author Biography

Kaori H. Okano is Associate Professor/Reader in the School of Social Sciences, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. Her publications include Language and Schools in Asia: Globalisation and Local Forces (2006, as editor); Education in Contemporary Japan: Inequality and Diversity (1999, co-authored with M. Tsuchiya) which has been published in Malay as Pendidikan Moden Japan (2004); School to Work Transition in Japan: An Ethnographic Study (1993); and articles in leading scholarly journals.

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgementsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Transitions to adulthoodp. 11
Life stories 1989-2001p. 19
A longitudinal ethnographyp. 21
Portraits of selected womenp. 35
Miyuki: From cashier to display specialistp. 35
Kanako: A fisherman's wifep. 45
Yayoi: 'I didn't think it would be so hard to get a divorce'p. 57
Satoko: 'I'm the breadwinner, and it's hard'p. 71
Noshie: Between two worldsp. 75
Sekie: 'It was worth the hardship to become a nurse in the end'p. 86
Tomoe: 'The Korean bank was comfortable, but agency work suits me better at the moment'p. 96
Hatsumi: 'I've lost the custody of my daughter'p. 111
Themes from the storiesp. 127
Initial entry into the wider adult worldp. 129
Paid employment: from permanent to non-standard jobsp. 154
Forming relationshipsp. 189
Marriage and divorce in their 20sp. 215
Decisions and their consequences in paths to adulthood: seeking 'comfort'(igokochi)p. 244
Conclusionsp. 271
Notesp. 276
Bibliographyp. 279
Indexp. 288
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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