It is impossible to judge a book off its cover. Japan is like a bad book with a good cover. On the outside, Japan s cover looks like one in which other countries should envy. When we take a look and see that their income gap between rich and poor is smaller than that of the United States. Generally, the Japanese are known for their teamwork, and equality. If anyone in Japan is making a outrageous salary they are looked down on because that shows individuality, and it goes against teamwork.
There is no need for unions in Japan, equality seems to be each companies goal. But like a bad book with a good cover, there is a far different story behind all of this. In all of the great things listed above, Japanese women are not included in this dynamic. Throughout this report you will see the inequality in the Japanese workplace, the struggle between the Sogoshoku and the Ippanshoku, and how the Japanese women are starting to chose work over home.
Inequality in the Japanese Workplace The socialization of men dominating women in Japan starts at a young age. Japanese boys and girls are taught to use different expressions and words. As Japanese girls reach their teenage years, the majority of them have no major goals. 52% of women and 65% of men believe that men s job is to work and women s is to keep house (Family Planning Perspectives, 1999).
They have grown up to believe that their first job is at home. One of the only things that the Japanese girls have to dream about is their elegant and elaborate wedding ceremony. Getting married though can hurt women from ever getting hired with any company. Large Japanese companies often encourage women to quit upon getting married, or at least when they have their first child (Newcomb, 1998).
In Japan, the images of women have undergone rather remarkable transitional changes. In her article “The Modern Girl as Militant”, Miriam Silverberg focuses on the category of Modern Girl (“moga,” or modan gaaru), a topic of debate in Japanese society during the 1920s and early 1930s. She argues that the Modern Girl was a media creation designed to portray women as ...
If a Japanese woman aims for other goal such as education, she needs to be careful. Most companies will not hire women with four year degrees because they are known to be over-qualified. Usually the women get a two year degree in teaching. If they try for anything more prestigious, most organizations will not hire them. Japanese women are socialized from infancy to limit themselves and not be assertive when it comes to getting jobs. If a Japanese woman does chose to work, it is usually a low-paying job, while the men get positions that pay exceptionally better.
Women s wages are only 62. 5 percent of those of men, and women start only 13. 6 per cent of new businesses (AHRC, 1999).
In these low-paying jobs, there is rarely any opportunity to get promoted. Due to the lack of promotions, women usually switch jobs many times through their careers. They are usually limited to clerical and sales positions.
While Japanese men hold from 95 to 100 percent of the managerial and official positions. Japan created laws to stop this discrimination from continuing. In the Japanese Constitution, Article 14 states that there should not be discrimination of gender in economic relations. Articles 3 and 26 of the Covenant give Japanese women the right to equal economic opportunities and equal protection. Obviously these laws are not helping.
The discrimination is imbedded in their society to believe that men should have the prestigious, higher paying jobs and the women should not. It is hard for women to be protected by these laws when this practice has been going on forever. Sogoshoku vs. Ippanskoku To fully understand the discrimination that Japanese women face each day in the workplace, you must start at the beginning of their careers. Since the majority of women that work in Japan work in clerical positions, this section focuses on clerical work. The discrimination Japanese women face though is not limited to this particular field.
Discrimination in the workplace starts right when Japanese women enter the work force. There is a process in which the men and women go through when they enter the work field which is known as a two-track system. This system has only been around for ten years, and was brought about by the Equal Employment Opportunity Law of 1986. Believe it or not, discrimination of Japanese women was worse before this two track system started. This system involves two groups, the Sogoshoku which are the men that are trained to be managerial staff, and the Ippanshoku which are their clerical assistants.
In Mrs. Burrows’ seventh grade English class, I wrote a paper entitled Women vs. Men in the Work Force. I researched for weeks and weeks to get all of the information I could on pay differences, percentages of working women and what jobs they were doing. In 1988, my paper focused on sexual discrimination and the wage difference. For example, in 1998, “women received 63% of the pay men received for ...
On average, 2. 5 percent of Sogoshoku are women and there are no men working in the Ippanshoku. According to a 1997 report covering all 2, 413 listed companies and other major organizations, there were only 84 women executives out of 44, 925 (AHRC, 1999).
This showing that Japanese women rarely have a chance of being part of the Sogoshoku. Not only are the Japanese women held at these low status positions, but they are also labeled with demeaning names. The most popular being, girls.
When the managerial staff speaks of the Japanese women working for them they refer to them as girls. Carole Pate man (1998) compares calling adult women girls to calling adult male slaves boys, and argues that both usage s are a graphic illustration of a perpetual nonage that women and slaves cannot cast off (Ogasawara, 31).
The girl s duties involve picking up the mail, faxing documents, making copies, and typing documents. A major part of these women s jobs are to serve tea to the men. This sounds easy, but there is a lot to it. The girls have to follow rigorous rules when serving tea at the manager meetings.
They must serve the tea in order from the highest ranking official to the lowest. If this is done wrong it could cost them their jobs. This is the most demeaning and frustrating part of many Japanese women s jobs. The Sogoshoku and Ippanshoku are evaluated each quarter. Their evaluations are graded from A to E.
This depicts if they will receive bonuses and promotions. But almost all of the Japanese women get Cs. This gives the companies a tool to justify why the women never get promotions and why their salaries are much lower than the mens. This process of putting women and men on separate tracks and different groups creates inequality. Japanese men are given every opportunity to succeed in their careers, and the women are not.
The women s duties are to be servants for the men. They are labeled girls, and must respond just as slaves responded to boys. This process goes against every Japanese gender law. But this practice has gone on so long that it has caused sedimentation of inequalities towards women. The longer this goes on the longer it takes to reverse.
This paper examines some of the aspects of women in Japanese theater.IIntroductionThe history of women in Japanese theater is the history of the social changes that swept the country in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Actresses at this time progressed from a point where they were not allowed to perform at all to the point where they were celebrated artists.Although it would be intriguing ...
This sedimentation of gender inequality is much like the sedimentation of racial inequality in the United States towards African-Americans discussed in Black Wealth White Wealth (Oliver & Shapiro).
The sedimentation of racial inequality was created by many things such as Jim Crow laws. This racial sedimentation has kept African-Americans from getting benefits equal to whites. The gender sedimentation seen in Japan, works the same way. Women are not getting the same benefits as men. This has been caused by centuries of belief that men are supreme and women must support their needs.
Work or Home The Japanese culture has had a very distinct idea of what the women s roles are and what the men s roles are. This idea is almost an exact reflection of the Consumer Unit Household in the Accord Era which was discussed in Shifts in the Social Contract (Rubin).
The woman s role is to stay at home, raise the children, and have dinner done when the husband gets home. The Man s role is strictly to be the breadwinner. In Rubin s book, it discusses how this was very much the cultural norm for the United States, especially in the 1950 s.
This view of the stay-at-home mom and bread winning dad is shown throughout the Japanese society, even today. For the past ten years the trend for women has been to attend a two-year college, get married, and stay home. The trend for men has been to go to a four-year college, get married, work and virtually be free to do what ever they want. It looks like things might start to change. As you can see from the Sogoshoku and Ippanskoku system, women have been allowed to work the past ten years. It might be low paying and demeaning, but it is a start.
Just recently the trend has changed even more. Women are starting to go against the norm, and they are attending and graduating from four-year universities. After getting their degree, they are moving to other countries, such as the United States, and entering well paid careers were they do not have to pour tea. This is inspiring a new modern force that is trying to overcome the tradition views.
Recently, many women are engaged in various kinds of job, and they have been advancing in society. Moreover, it is quite ubiquitous among typical families that a mother works outside the home. In the article Should a Woman Work Outside the Home?, the author Mohammed Akade Osman Sudan argues that a womans rightful place in society is in the home. I disagree with the authors view that women should ...
Conclusion As you can see, there is inequality in the Japanese workplace, which starts with the Sogoshoku and Ippanshoku system. Japanese women and men are raised two different ways which oppresses the women and gives men every opportunity to do well. This socialization process is expressed by the exact way the Sogoshoku and Ippanshoku system works. Women go one way, men go the other. The Japanese men benefiting from this the most. The Japanese women are expected to stay home.
This has been Japan s cultural norm forever. The Japanese women are starting to go against this norm though. They are graduating from four-year universities and getting excellent careers in other countries. Japan is losing great executives and managers by this new trend.
In the future the Japanese men might see what they are losing, and truly create an equal opportunity for women in the workplace and in life. If this true equality comes about, Japan would be known as more than a good book, but a best seller. 344.