Televised Feminism and Consumable Solutions: Japanese Feminism Through the Lens of Female Oriented Workplace Dramas
Macovski, Michael S
Television dramas are an influential form of popular culture in Japan. A growing number of Japanese television dramas is tackling feminist issues, such as sexism in the workplace, or more specifically, sexual harassment. Programs, such as Age Harassment (2015), feature strong female protagonists standing up to their male supervisors, urging gender equality in the workplace. These female oriented workplace dramas are said to raise awareness of sexism. At first glance, these programs are progressive for featuring Western feminist ideals, which value individual freedom over harmonious group dynamic. These programs are unconventional because they actively defy an important cultural ideal in Japan – wa, often translated as harmony in English. In a sense, wa is a form of social control, through which individuality is suppressed for the sake of the collective harmony.Upon closer examination, however, this thesis proposes that theses seemingly progressive programs actually develop a wa oriented narrative pattern that ultimately prioritizes group harmony over self-actualization, especially through the use of forced harmonious resolutions. For instance, the aforementioned protagonists choose to stay at their companies despite all the gender based discriminations they have encountered. By exploring these television dramas, this thesis argues that the wa oriented narrative pattern reflects the idea of “group-actualization.” It also reveals the conundrum that Japanese feminism faces – the self versus the group.Employing an archival research, a qualitative content analysis, and a textual analysis of television dramas, this thesis aims to demonstrate a type of feminism that is unique to Japan.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.