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Type: Thesis
Title: Corporate warriors or company animals? : an investigation of Japanese salaryman masculinities across three generations
Author: Hidaka, Tomoko
Issue Date: 2006
School/Discipline: School of Social Sciences
Abstract: 'Corporate warriors' and 'company animals' are common terms used to describe Japanese sarariman ( salarymen ), the former referring to salarymen as the samurai of Japan's post - war economic miracle and the latter suggesting servile creatures of Japanese corporations. This thesis explores Japanese salaryman masculinity, that is, the 'hegemonic masculinity' in Japan. The study collects the life - histories of 39 men across three generations of salarymen, so that the oldest men in my sample were in their 70s and the youngest in their 20s. While research on Japanese masculinities has expanded rapidly in recent years, no other study, to the author's knowledge, explores generational changes. This generational approach allows exploration of maintenance of and changes in hegemonic masculinity over time. This thesis pays attention to the phases of salarymen's lives. In the period of growing up, participants were continually confirmed in their self - worth through a hierarchy grounded on age and gender in the settings of the family, school and neighbourhood. Across the three generations, participants grew up in a homosocial and heterosexual world, barely mixing with the opposite sex and focusing on educational outcomes for successful careers after their schooling. Despite their immersion in comradeship, most participants ensconced themselves comfortably in the institution of marriage. While a few unconventional families emerged in the sons' generation, the traditional gendered division of labour is reproduced across the three generations. Many participants rejected equal opportunities for women in the workforce and participated very little in housework and childcare, claiming that providing the family income was their 'childcare'. Participants understood themselves as corporate warriors, or elite male workers, rather than company animals. Nevertheless, some young respondents evinced a tinge of jealousy for increasing number of ' freeters ' ( part - time workers ). Moreover, several men in the grandfathers' generation regretted their current minimal contact with their children and grandchildren as a result of their absence from home while children were growing up. Thus Japanese salarymen in this study expressed aspects of both the corporate warrior and the company animal in reflecting on their experiences.
Advisor: Bulbeck, Chilla
Yoneyama, Shoko
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.)--School of Social Sciences, 2006.
Subject: White collar workers Japan
Work and family Japan
Quality of work life Japan.
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exception. If you are the author of this thesis and do not wish it to be made publicly available or If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
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