Women in the Language and Society of Japan

The Linguistic Roots of Bias


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About the Book

Feminist critics have long considered language a primary vehicle for the transmission of sexist values in a society. This much-needed sociolinguistic critique examines the representation of women in traditional Japanese language and society. Derogatory and highly-sexualized terms are placed in historical context, and the progress of nonsexist language reform is reviewed. Central to this work are the individual voices of Japanese women who took part in a survey, expressing their candid thoughts and concerns regarding biased gender representations. In their own words, they give voice to the reality of being female within the constraints of a traditional—and sometimes misogynistic—language.

About the Author(s)

Naoko Takemaru is an assistant professor of Japanese at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Bibliographic Details

Naoko Takemaru
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: tables, appendices, bibliography, indexes
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4003-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5610-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

List of Tables      viii
Acknowledgments      ix
Preface      1
Introduction      3

Part I: Representation of Women in Japanese Society
1—Status and Roles of Women in Japan      9
2—Family and Marriage in Japan      27
3—Women and Education in Japan      44
4—Women in the Japanese Workplace      56
5—Feminism in Japan      72

Part II: Representation of Women in the Japanese Language
6—Survey: Voices from Japanese Women      87
7—Women and the Japanese Language:
The Present and the Future      145

Appendix A: Demographic Information about the Survey
Appendix B: Japanese Words and Phrases Listed by the
Survey Participants
Bibliography      211
Index      223

Book Reviews & Awards

“of value”—Social Science Japan Journal.