All posts filed under: Gender

Unveiling the truth about “women in poverty” in contemporary Japan

Atsumi is twenty-three years old. She has been living in an Internet-Café for two months. She works as a waitress at a coffeehouse, but she may lose the job if the owner finds that she has become homeless. When she was in high school, her father died of cancer, her mother left her, and she withdrew from school. A loan shark has been chasing her after the first loan. She has scarcely been surviving alone (Suzuki 2014: 16-36). Introduction It was in 2015 that the “hinkon joshi,”or women in poverty, which include the likes of Atsumi, suddenly gained public attention in Japan. A documentary by NHK discussed the shocking fact that a third of working women in Japan were poor. Even if they marry, becoming a “wife” would not give them any advantage in contemporary Japanese society; matrimony has not become a realistic measure for women to escape from poverty (NHK Research Group 2014: 64-65). This feminization of poverty is worrying for a country suffering from a declining birth rate. In this essay, I will …

Unshading Grey: Why do people like Christian Grey?

The movie Fifty Shades has drawn much interest, concern, and criticism from different people around the world. People have shown different and conflicting attitudes toward the film with some commending the film and some bashing the film extensively. The film, based on the book written by British author E.L. James, was about the love story between a literature major Anastacia Steele and the young and wealthy entrepreneur, Christian Grey.

Filipino Weddings: Beyond Bride and Groom

The point is: weddings enable and constrain, and I feel most couples prefer a ceremony that’s more enabling than constraining. The choice of some couples to defray all wedding expenses (as was the case in the two weddings I attended) is a subtle attempt of bride and groom to lessen that constraint, wield a little power, and assert their independence. (Image from tuscanaresort.com)

Verstehen Top 10 Socio-Cultural Heavyweights of 2013 (Part I)

You might be thinking that this endeavor is foolish, knowing full well that everything is sociological and anthropological, but there are those that occur that make us stop in our tracks and rethink where humanity is now, and where it is going (or not going, for that matter), and those are the events we revisit in this year-end countdown.