How does the Japan labour market react in the face of global economic change and its weak domestic economy? What impacts are brought by the change in labour market? How does this change reflect or challenge the existing gender regime in workplace?
This study mainly focuses on how gender role plays part in the change of employment structure, stressing on the increasing number of agency temp workers (haken shain) in Japan. Upon the collapse of bubble economy in the late 1980s, Japan has undergone a revolutionary change in its employment structure. The most significant change is that the common life-long employment contract in the past is no longer offered to employees while numerous new forms of employment contracts emerged, including haken shain and freeters, and its figures has kept rising over the years (Kyodo, 2013).
On the other hand, gender regime which defines the pattern of gender arrangements in any specific social structure in any given period (Connell, 2002) has been the major field of study in the anthropology of Japan as there is always a strict and clear division of gender role at all dimensions of life. In workplace, the domination of masculinity is displayed and the perception of men being breadwinners of the family as well as the contributors of the economy grants them high social status. Yet, with the change of economy mentioned above together with the increase of females taking up managerial positions, the privilege status of salarymen is under challenge (Mai, 2007). Hence, social scientists have started to raise doubts on whether the declining number of regular workers and the growing population as non-regular job holders, including haken shain, is actually a ph...
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...evista de Lenguas Modernas, (12), 13-30.
Sato, H. (2006). Temporary agency staffs various perspectives in employment and challenges for temporary staff agencies and employers. Manuscript submitted for publication, Department of Government and International Relations, The University of Sydney, Department of Research on the Staffing Industry, Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
Shire, K., & van Jaarsveld, D. (2008, May). The temporary staffing industry in protected employment economies: Germany, Japan and the Netherlands. Presentation delivered at Annual conference, Boston.
Sugimoto, Y. (2010). An introduction to Japanese society. (3 ed., p. 106). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Weathers, C. (2002). Women in Japan’s temporary services industry. Manuscript submitted for publication, Japan Policy Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan.
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