Japanese Teenagers' Perception of Their Mothers' Employment and What They Do in after School

Friday, July 18, 2014: 4:50 PM
Room: F205
Distributed Paper
Akiko USUDA , Showa Women's University, Tokyo, Japan
Japanese junior high school students and high school students (age 13 to 18) are rarely reported internationally regarding their behaviors after school and attitudes towards their mothers’ employment. I interviewed approximately 40 these teenagers, 20 each from relatively wealthy area, Setagaya and the down town, Taito in Tokyo. The result showed that most of their mothers were working part-time regardless of their areas and this affects family supper. Some of them were suffering from neglect or somewhat of neglect by mothers particularly concerning supper. The difference was teenagers in Setagaya are more likely to complain it, while Taito counterparts were more likely to accept their severe situation in family.

   In addition, comparison between this study and the result of Australian researcher, Barbara Pocock’s in-depth interview of teenagers (2006) will be shown. The result was different from the Australian one and the largest gap is that almost no Japanese teenagers referred their parents’ joy gained from paid work, while Australian counterparts did. Probably due to Confucianism, many of Japanese teenagers seem to thank their parents’ paid work, although some of them were not provided supper. And this tendency is more obvious in down town.

   Neglect of these age groups is difficult to be recognized in the society, due to their own pretense as normal and their affection or sympathy towards their parents. Also there are no DV marks on their bodies and no yelling is heard from nighbours. Therefore, these teenagers’ vulnerability remains invisible. I believe this study has significant meaning in youth studies, family studies and Japanese studies.