Skip to content
Open global navigation

Cambridge University Press

AcademicLocation selectorSearch toggleMain navigation toggle
Cart
Register Sign in Wishlist

Women and Family in Contemporary Japan

$31.99

textbook
  • Date Published: May 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521180375

$31.99
Paperback

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook


Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact collegesales@cambridge.org providing details of the course you are teaching.

Description
Product filter button
Description
Contents
Resources
About the Authors
  • Japanese women have often been singled out for their strong commitment to the role of housewife and mother. But they are now postponing marriage and bearing fewer children, and Japan has become one of the least fertile and fastest aging countries in the world. Why are so many Japanese women opting out of family life? To answer this question, the author draws on in-depth interviews and extensive survey data to examine Japanese mothers’ perspectives and experiences of marriage, parenting, and family life. The goal is to understand how, as introspective, self-aware individuals, these women interpret and respond to the barriers and opportunities afforded within the structural and ideological contexts of contemporary Japan. The findings suggest a need for changes in the structure of the workplace and the education system to provide women with the opportunity to find a fulfilling balance of work and family life.

    • Features women's own voices, bringing to life their experiences and beliefs about being a wife and parent
    • Shows how individuals are situated within and affected by other institutions. It provides extensive history of women's welfare in modern Japan (since 1860s) with focus on government institutions and corporations
    • Authoritative and well-documented text that is appropriate for advanced undergraduates and graduate students
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    “Japanese mothers are powerful figures: they shape not only home life but also the workings of Japanese communities, schools, and workplaces. Susan Holloway uses Japan as a lens through which to explore the broad question of how culture shapes child-rearing. Her in-depth interviews with Japanese women shed light on universal questions: how mothers imagine what makes an effective parent, how one’s own upbringing affects one’s parenting, how to preserve tradition while accommodating modern demands, and how to balance work and family. This is a fascinating book grounded in the history and anthropology of Japan which speaks to the mounting pressures on the family in the industrialized world.”
    – Amy Borovoy, Princeton University, author of The Too-Good Wife: Alcohol, Codependency, and the Politics of Nurturance in Postwar Japan

    "In this timely and path-breaking book, Susan Holloway paints an engaging canvas of how cultural concerns and public policies have shaped the ways young Japanese women view themselves, without losing sight of the ways that individual women also transcend their own culture in their perceptions and evaluations of what it means to be wife and mother. The combination of these elements – the cultural, the institutional, and the individual – is what makes this book so powerful and different from previous treatments of Japanese families. A must-read book for scholars interested in an up-to-date narrative of Japanese women as mothers and wives in contemporary Japan."
    – Per F. Gjerde, University of California, Santa Cruz

    “Through a series of candid face-to-face, in-depth interviews supplemented by survey results, Holloway brings us a stunning critique of Japan’s approach to the lives of women – conditions of education, work, and marriage that often add stress rather than support. Declines in rates of marriage and childbirth are understandable results, particularly under the scrutiny of the ‘faceless other’ lurking among neighbors and extended family. The situation requires mothers to draw heavily on individual strength to attempt to create opportunities not only for their child’s academic success but also for their personal happiness.”
    – June A. Gordon, University of California, Santa Cruz

    "There is no doubt that this is a major contribution to research and scholarship on Japanese parenting, child rearing, and education, but it is also a polished piece of writing, commanding the attention of anyone even slightly interested in the subject. The book is at once a synthesis of social science data and perspectives and an in-depth study of the attitudes and behaviors of 16 mothers in Osaka. Its analysis, reflecting the long experience of the author with this subject, is consistently illuminating, credible and balanced."
    – Robert A. LeVine, Harvard University

    “Susan Holloway explores the ‘good mother’ in Japan in ways so far untreated in the western literature on Japan. Why is it that Japanese women who now have so many options for work and activities still measure themselves by their capacity to be good mothers? Holloway examines the peaks and valleys of the landscape of women’s lives in Japan, revealing the psychological and social complexities at ground level. The voices of four mothers frame a story of confidence where demands are high, initiative where frustration bars the door, and self evaluation and determination when there is little support. And yet, the joys of motherhood in Japan are evident, perhaps more strikingly available to a Japanese mother than to her striving western counterpart.”
    – Merry White, Boston University

    "....the book is an impressive contribution to several fields of study. It is a careful, thoughtful project that provides important insights into Japan today and hints of the future society in which these young children will be adults. It demonstrates the value of multi-level analysis of social-psychological issues incorporating both individual agency and sociocultural constraints. The project provides rich comparative data for analyzing the relationship between parental self-efficacy and factors of social class, cultural values, social support, and institutional setting. For policy experts looking to understand young women’s reluctance to marry and bear children at the rates of the past, this well-crafted book is an excellent place to begin."
    – Susan Orpett Long, John Carroll University, International Journal of Sociology of the Family

    "Holloway (education, Berkeley) provides a very detailed look into the lives of Japanese women in the context of family.... Holloway also breaks some new ground, including an exploration of some interesting data on husbands, uncommon for books dealing with Japanese women. She also does well to contextualize the ways the lives of women intersect with public policies. Overall, this solid addition to the literature on Japan does a nice job of integrating qualitative and quantitative forms of data.... Recommended."
    – J.W. Traphagan, University of Texas at Austin, CHOICE

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity

    ×

    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?

    ×

    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521180375
    • length: 256 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus. 4 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. 'Good wives, wise mothers': parenting and family life in cultural context
    2. Locating the research in space and time
    3. What is a wise mother?
    4. Hansei: the process of self-reflection
    5. Memories of childhood
    6. Husbands: crucial partners or peripheral strangers?
    7. Shitsuke: the art of childrearing
    8. Maternal involvement in children's schooling
    9. Balancing work and family life
    10. Women and family life: ideology, experience and agency.

  • Author

    Susan D. Holloway, University of California, Berkeley
    Susan D. Holloway obtained a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and Early Childhood Education from Stanford University in 1983. She has been conducting research on Japan since 1980 and was the recipient of a Fulbright Award in 1994 to study and write about family and schooling in Japan. She is the author of Through My Own Eyes: Single Mothers and the Cultures of Poverty (with Bruce Fuller) and Contested Childhood: Diversity and Change in Japanese Preschools. Additionally, she has authored more than 50 articles and book chapters on family and schooling in cultural contexts. Holloway has taught at the University of Maryland, College Park; Harvard University; and the University of California, Berkeley, where she has been a faculty member in the Graduate School of Education since 1996.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account

Cancel

Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website, your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner www.ebooks.com. Please see the permission section of the www.ebooks.com catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

© Cambridge University Press 2014

Back to top

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.

Cancel Delete

Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

×
Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.
×