Gender Research in Japanese Sociology: Complicit or Critical?

Monday, July 14, 2014: 10:30 AM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Diana KHOR , Hosei University, Tokyo, Japan
The impact of feminism in sociology has been examined quite thoroughly in the US and Britain but comparable analysis has not been undertaken in Japanese sociology. The present paper endeavors to fill this gap, but less to assess the extent to which feminist research is represented Japanese sociology than to examine the type of gender research published in a mainstream sociology journal, to obtain a picture of the nature of gender knowledge that is produced in sociology, and specifically, whether gender research in sociology raises questions about the way sociology is practiced. I analyzed all four issues per year from Volume 40 (1989-1990) to Volume 61 (2010) of the official general sociological journal published by the Japan Sociological Society, Japanese Sociological Review (Shakaigaku Hyoron), with a total of 558 theoretical and empirical articles. All articles were coded for topic/subarea, geographic focus, if relevant, methodology, and also gender, affiliation, and professional status of the author(s). In addition, the text of the gender-related articles were read and coded for major claims or findings and reference sources. Preliminarily, the analysis shows that most gender-related articles are on the topic of family and marriage, body and norms, intimacy and sexuality, and social stratification. The next popular topics are labor, employment and organization, and social network. Only two such topics are central to sociology represented by this journal and indicated by the number of publications. While 59 articles out of 558 articles may represent a fair number from any subfield in a highly diversified discipline, a closer look reveals a different picture, one that could suggest a marginal status. Results of further analysis will be presented at the ISA.