ABOUT THIS BOOK
Why do Japanese women enjoy a high sense of well-being in a context of high inequality? Beyond the Gender Gap in Japan brings together researchers from across the social sciences to investigate this question. The authors analyze women’s values and the lived experiences at home, in the family, at work, in their leisure time, as volunteers, and in politics and policy-making. Their research shows that the state and firms have blurred “the public” and “the private” in postwar Japan, constraining individuals’ lives, and reveals the uneven pace of change in women’s representation in politics. Yet, despite these constraints, the increasing diversification in how people live and how they manage their lives demonstrates that some people are crafting a variety of individual solutions to structural problems. Covering a significant breadth of material, the book presents comprehensive findings that use a variety of research methods—public opinion surveys, in-depth interviews, a life history, and participant observation—and, in doing so, look beyond Japan’s perennially low rankings in gender equality indices to demonstrate the diversity underneath, questioning some of the stereotypical assumptions about women in Japan.