Charm As the Capital in Japanese Youth Culture

Monday, July 14, 2014: 11:30 AM
Room: F204
Oral Presentation
Eriko KIMURA , Japan Women's University Integrated Arts e and Social Sciences, RC34, Fuzisawa,Kanagawa, Japan
The purpose of this presentation is to examine the type of capital an individual possesses to attract others using quantitative data from the 2012 survey conducted by the Japan Youth Study Group. Z. Bauman (2000, Liquid Modernity) has pointed out that with professions and families becoming more and more fluid, one’s own body has become one of the means of confirming one’s identity (Details of the book is omitted in this abstract). Then, what does this ‘body’ refer to? Attractive looks can be one of them. But this is not enough. C. Hakim (2011, Honey money: the Power of Erotic Capital) has offered an interesting insight on this point. That is, in addition to economic capital, cultural capital and social capital identified by P. Bourdieu (1986, “Forms of Capital”), she has proposed the fourth capital, ‘erotic capital’. She also suggests that the benefits yielded from erotic capital, which is made up of looks and interpersonal charm, are huge and increasingly important. Nonetheless, conventional sociological studies have not paid enough attention to people’s attractiveness. In particular, in the study of feminism, femininity, which is one of the attractive characteristics of a female, has been denied. Therefore, we need to examine the difference between people with attractiveness and those without, and benefits that are gained in this regard. The presentation first examines constitutive elements of erotic capital in Japanese youth culture. Secondly, it examines the ways in which erotic capital differs from ‘social capital’, a concept which is increasingly receiving attention.