Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2003
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, University of Illinois / Urbana-Champaign
Middle-Class Citizenship and Female College Students in Tokyo

In this dissertation research, I will explore how Japanese female college students in Tokyo with working class backgrounds negotiate the meanings of female middle class citizenship. I will examine this negotiation in the context of these students' college social lives and over the course of their employment search in a socio-economically transforming Japan. Due to Japan's extensive corporate downsizing, female students at lower tier colleges are facing difficulty in obtaining full-time corporate employment, the long-standing hallmark of female middle class citizenship. This research hypothesizes, however, that the effects and meanings of these labor market transformations are not uniform. While women's chances of employment in large firms have eroded, smaller companies provide female labor market entrants with diversifying career opportunities. This research thus asks: How are the meanings of women's middle class citizenship transforming? My study will contribute to the understanding of the articulation between class and gender, and of the effects of socio­economic transformations on women's lives.