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The "Japanese employment system" revisited: gender, work and social order
Stockholm University.
1999 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thesis is an attempt to examine the influence of cultural elements on the Japanese society of today, especially in regard to social organizations and economic activities. With regard to the framework of analysis, the ie (Japanese family) ideology is applied as a specific key concept, since it is regarded as being of substantial significance as the dominant ideology and as the source of that social order which rules in present-day Japanese society.

In the first part, I discuss the derivation and formation of the ie ideology from the Japanese family system, its basic structure and functions, as well as its influence on individuals. 1 also discuss how, as a “natural order of things”, the ie ideology legitimizes the hierarchical order among people and assigns a position to each of them within this hierarchy on the basis of innate characteristics, such as sex.

From this perspective - the existence of status and gender hierarchy within the social organisations - I review a well-established concept, what is known as the “Japanese employment system”, which is conceived as mirroring the ie ideology. My intentions here are to examine the characteristics of the employment system and their applicability, as well as to examine that system from the perspective of the individuals who work and live within the framework of this system.

The second part of the thesis is mainly based on empirical data from my fieldwork, where the focus is on the inter-company and intra-company relationships: first of all, the nature of the inter-company business transactions are described and analysed as these are configured within subcontracting networks, in which large companies that often act as customers with regard to the small subcontracting ones.

When describing and analysing intra-company relationships, recruitment practices and terms of employment of Japanese companies are also viewed as a typical mirror-image of the ie ideology. The construction of the division of labour by sex in Japanese firms is illustrated from a gender perspective.

In short, the particular contribution of this thesis is to examine Japanese society in a perspective beyond “economic efficiency” - which has tended to be the most prevalent perspective in analyses of modern Japan.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm University , 1999. , p. 266
Series
Stockholm East Asian monographs, ISSN 1101-5993 ; 10
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-64105ISBN: 91-628-3618-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-64105DiVA, id: diva2:455238
Public defence
1999-06-07, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-11-09 Created: 2011-11-09 Last updated: 2018-04-25Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
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