Re-Defining Women’s Social Status By Optimal Matching of Occupational Career.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018
Sumire KUROKAWA, Ochanomizu University, Japan
This study attempts to define Japanese women’s status by the occupational career of their own. In the social stratification studies, it has been a serious problem of how to define the women’s status. Since J. Acker (1973) has pointed out that there was a limit in setting the family as the unit of stratification. This problem has been discussed also in Japan, however, there is no clear consensus on how to measure the women’s status. In this study, focusing on perspective of the individual as the unit, some difficulties will be overcome by measuring women’s status of their occupational careers.

The dataset used here is “Questionnaire Survey on Occupational Career and Working Style” from JILPT. This dataset was collected in 2013, and contained each respondent’s job data from 15 years old to the survey period by retrospective method. This study created occupational career variable by Optimal Matching method (OM) that is a method of analyzing sequential data. We can get information on what kind of work experiences they have so far, how diverse the women’s working lives are, by using OM. Occupational career was measured by employment status such as regular employment or temporary employment, and including those who are not working. By doing this way, we can properly consider the process of exit from and re-entry into the labor market in conceptualizing the social status.

This study presents three advantages of measuring women’s status by occupational career. First, it needs only the information on occupational career of women themselves. Second, we can measure the status of all women on the same standards with or without husband or male partner. No women are excluded from this analysis. Third, there is a possibility of gender-neutral concept of stratification as this way can be applied equally to men.