Patriarchy in East Asia

A Comparative Sociology of Gender

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The role and significance of patriarchy in East Asia varies greatly according to the interplay between deeply entrenched cultural norms, economic change, and government policy. The aim of this book, therefore, is to offer an historical perspective on these issues combined with an analysis of the transitions and outcomes that have occurred in the status of women over the course of modernization and industrialization in five East Asian societies – Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Taiwan, and China.

The narrative is interwoven with a discussion of contemporary issues such as the persistence of tradition and gender discrimination, how gender roles undermine the development of healthier marriage and family relationships (and better relations among the generations), the lack of full equality for women in employment, falling birth rates, and rising divorce rates.

Patriarchy in East Asia is the first study of its kind undertaken by a sociologist who is fluent in all of the local languages, thereby providing a rare level of access in terms of research of primary sources.
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Biographical Note

Sechiyama Kaku, Ph.D (1997), University of Tokyo, is Professor of Gender Studies at that university. He has published Patriarchy in East Asia (Keiso, 1996) and Essays on Gender Studies (Keiso, 2001) both in Japanese.

Table of contents

Preface ... xi
List of Figures ... xiii
List of Tables ... xv

Introduction: Toward a Comparative Sociology of Gender ... 1
1. A Sociology of Gender ... 1
2. The Meaning of Comparison ... 1
3. The Meaning of Making East Asia the Subject ... 2

PART ONE
1. What is Patriarchy? ... 7
1. Bringing Order to the Discussion of Patriarchy ... 7
2. The Use of Patriarchy in Cultural Anthropology and Sociology ... 8
3. How the Concept of Patriarchy is used by Feminists in the West ... 14
4. Building a Broadly Applicable Concept of Patriarchy ... 18
2. The Emergence of the Housewife and Transformations in Her Position ... 27
1. Married Women Become Housewives and a Source of Labor ... 27
2. Charting the Course of the Emergence of the Housewife ... 30
3. Socialist Models ... 46

PART TWO
3. The Japanese Housewife and Patriarchy ... 53
1. Emergence from Primitive Labor Relations ... 55
2. Background for Emergence of Japan’s Modern Patriarchy—Confucianism and the Ideal of the Good Wife and Wise Mother ... 60
3. The Advent of the Modern Housewife ... 85
4. The Modern Housewife in Wartime Conditions—Motherhood Emphasized Once Again... 96
4. Contemporary Patriarchy and the Housewife in Japan ... 99
1. Postwar Economic Growth and New Forms of Industrialization ... 99
2. Formation of New Patriarchal Norms ... 105
3. How the Agent has Responded ... 108
4. The Contemporary Housewife in Japan ... 113
5. Problems in Contemporary Japanese Patriarchy ... 133

PART THREE
5. South Korean Patriarchy ... 137
1. Industrialization in South Korea ... 138
2. The Background of South Korean Patriarchy ... 141
3. Forms of South Korean Women’s Employment ... 149
4. South Korean Patriarchy ... 160
6. Taiwanese Patriarchy ... 171
1. Industrialization in Taiwan ... 171
2. The Background of Taiwanese Patriarchy ... 177
3. Forms of Women’s Employment in Taiwan ... 182
4. The Taiwanese Model of Patriarchy ... 195
7. Patriarchy in North Korea ... 203
1. Socialist Construction ... 205
2. Indigenization ... 210
8. Patriarchy in China ... 223
1. Building Socialism ... 223
2. Moving away from Socialism or Indigenization, Compromising with Tradition ... 233
3. Gender Issues in China—Now and in the Future ... 237
9. Recent Social and Political Changes in East Asia ... 247
1. Declining Birth Rates and Destabilization of Marriage ... 248
2. Patterns of Women’s Labor ... 253
3. Employment Patterns among Older Citizens ... 258
4. North Korea Pushes ahead with its Own Line ... 267
5. Life in China under a Socialist Market Economy ... 274
10. Conclusions ... 281
1. Comparative Sociology of Gender in East Asia ... 282
2. Looking for Approaches to Resolving Women’s Issues in Contemporary Japan ... 285

Afterword: A Man Concerned About Gender Equality? ... 299
Afterword to the English edition ... 302
Bibliography ... 305
Index ... 325

Readership

All those interested in East Asian Studies, gender studies, modern Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China.

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