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Title:Citizen Professionals: College Women, Care Work, and the Transformation of Middle Class Subjectivity in Post-Bubble Japan
Author(s):Muraki, Noriko
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Abelmann, Nancy A.
Department / Program:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Women's Studies
Abstract:This dissertation argues that while young women's lives are fraught with ambiguity, in response to the transforming policies, practices, and discourses of the state, the business world, the labor market, and universities, many of them creatively forge alternative meanings of middle class citizenship, what I call "alternative citizenship," in the process of opting for the caring professions. Central to the formation of this alternative citizenship is these women's identification of care work as "professional careers" (senmonshoku). In this way, these women re-signify and upgrade the notion of "a job with one's hands" (te ni shoku) or manual labor. College women take the caring professions' key features---economic independence, individuality, creativity, and professional autonomy---to be the cornerstones of an alternative understanding of women's middle class citizenship that were long symbolized by the status of OL (office lady) and the subsequent life of the full-time housewife. This dissertation thus captures a pivotal moment of the transformation of gendered professionalism: from one supported by normative corporate and family membership to another by credentials. This dissertation also argues that young college women have destabilized a variety of conventional boundaries, such as those between "professionals" and "service," and "mental" and "manual." By elucidating the processes through which women creatively fashion themselves as new subjects in a transformative era, this dissertation offers a new and concrete understanding of the impacts of neo-liberal global restructuring on the reconstitution of subjectivity and cultural citizenship of female youth in post-bubble Japan.
Issue Date:2008
Description:345 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3347460
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2008

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