ISBN-10:
0520210441
ISBN-13:
9780520210448
Pub. Date:
06/30/1998
Publisher:
University of California Press
Office Ladies and Salaried Men: Power, Gender, and Work in Japanese Companies / Edition 1

Office Ladies and Salaried Men: Power, Gender, and Work in Japanese Companies / Edition 1

by Yuko OgasawaraYuko Ogasawara
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Overview

In large corporations in Japan, much of the clerical work is carried out by young women known as "office ladies" (OLs) or "flowers of the workplace." Largely nameless, OLs serve tea to the men and type and file their reports. They are exempt from the traditional lifetime employment and have few opportunities for promotion. In this engaging ethnography, Yuko Ogasawara exposes the ways that these women resist men's power, and why the men, despite their exclusive command of authority, often subject themselves to the women's control. Ogasawara, a Japanese sociologist trained in the United States, skillfully mines perceptive participant-observation analyses and numerous interviews to outline the tensions and humiliations of OL work. She details the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that OLs who are frustrated by demeaning, dead-end jobs thwart their managers and subvert the power structure to their advantage. Using gossip, outright work refusal, and public gift-giving as manipulative strategies, they can ultimately make or break the careers of the men. This intimate and absorbing analysis illustrates how the relationships between women and work, and women and men, are far more complex than the previous literature has shown.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520210448
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 06/30/1998
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Yuko Ogasawara is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Edogawa University.

Table of Contents

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
INTRODUCTION

1.
The Japanese Labor Market and Office Ladies
2.
Why Office Ladies Do Not Organize
3.
Gossip
4.
Popularity Poll
5.
Acts of Resistance
6.
Men Curry Favor with Women

CONCLUSION
APPENDIX A: DATA AND METHODS
APPENDIX B: PROFILES OF SARARIMAN AND
OFFICE LADIES INTERVIEWED
APPENDIX C: PROFILES OF FIFTEEN OFFICE
LADIES AT TOZAI BANK
APPENDIX D: PROFILES OF INTERVIEWEES ON
VALENTINE'S DAY GIFT-GIVING
APPENDIX E: SUMMARY OF TELEPHONE
INTERVIEWS WITH SARARIMAN WIVES
REGARDING WHITE DAY

NOTES
GLOSSARY
REFERENCES
INDEX

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