IGS Research Project 2019


IGS Research Project 2019

Gender and Politics in East Asia

Researcher Ki-young SHIN (Associate Professor, IGS)
Mari MIURA (Professor, Sophia University)
Jackie STEELE (Associate Professor, Nagoya University)
Outline East Asia has attracted global attention as a region that has achieved economic development, but the path of development of political democracy is not uniform. The aim of the research is to undertake a comparative analysis by surveying both male and female legislators in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, to find out what factors improve or hinder women’s political representation in the East Asian countries, and how to put political systems that foster gender diversity in place.

Women’s Cross-border Activism in East Asia

Researcher Fumie OHASHI (Associate Professor, IGS)
Outline Today we find many feminist activists raising their voices in various public spaces, such as the streets, squares, public transportation, university campuses, chambers of parliament, media, cyber space, etc. Through activism in such spaces they achieve global solidarity in working towards solutions for common problems. This study will discuss how such activism has evolved in East Asia, especially focusing on (1) The joint labor movement of the local/migrant domestic workers in regard to the ILO Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers (C189); (2) Women’s anti-militarization activism; and (3) The transregional/transnational activism of Chinese feminists in the 2010s.

Gender Analysis of Capital, Body and Mobility

Researcher Mariko ADACHI (Visiting Researcher, IGS)
Hiroaki ITAI (Project Lecturer, IGS)
Fumie OHASHI (Associate Professor, IGS)
Outline This project analyses changes in the function of capital after the global financial crisis by focusing on Saskia Sassen’s concept of ‘expulsions’. Examining the ‘normalisation’ of ‘expulsions’ from a gender perspective enables comprehension beyond the conventional analytical frameworks of ‘fragmentation of the body’ and the inclusion/exclusion dichotomy.

Reexamining “Liberal Feminism”

Researcher Hiroaki ITAI (Project Lecturer, IGS)
Outline This research project reexamines the ideas and movements that characterize the first wave of feminism, which includes works of Mary Wollstonecraft and John Stuart Mill. The project aims to clarify matters by undertaking a textual analysis of The Subjection of Women by J. S. Mill, and to create momentum for a reexamination of liberal feminism by completing a new translation of The Subjection of Women.

Assisted Reproductive Medicine and Gender

Researcher Yukari SEMBA (Project Research Fellow, IGS)
Outline Assisted reproductive medicine has advanced remarkably in recent years, and medical technologies including the use of donated sperm/eggs/embryos and surrogacy have become common in society without enough discussion on their pros and cons within society and expert groups. In this situation, women, as the sex who give birth, are more affected by these medical technologies. This research aims to investigate the influence of reproductive medicine on women both domestically and overseas.

Research on Information and Practices Regarding Sexuality: Sex Education at School

Researcher Yukari SEMBA (Project Research Fellow, IGS)
Outline In Japan, sex education is taught in junior and senior high schools, but it is mainly education about abstinence. The only additional topics covered in sex education in the schools are contraception, abortion, and sexually transmitted diseases. In recent years, however, the tendency to delay marriage and childbirth has led to an increase in infertility, which in turn has raised attention and interest in issues affecting reproduction. This project studies how students are taught about infertility and sexuality in sex education classes at school.

Gender Analysis of International Labor Migration from the Perspective of Sending Countries

Researcher Keiko HIRANO (Project Research Fellow, IGS)
Outline Global political and economic factors affect the immigration policies of receiving countries. As well, economic and cultural factors in sending countries have affected international migration policies. This project examines international migration issues from the perspective of sending countries, examining such cases as 1) Mexico and US migrant labor and 2) Migration policies in the General Election 2019 in Indonesia.

External Funds 2019

Parenting, Family, and Friendship in ICT Societies: International Comparative Study of Japan, South Korea, US, and Sweden

[JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A), 26242004]

Period 2014 – 2019
Researcher Masako ISHII-KUNTZ (Director, IGS/Professor, Ochanomizu University)
Outline This project examines parents’ usage of ICT tools and the social media in childrearing and communication, and analyzes its influence on their children’s development, family relationships, and friendship. International comparisons between Japan and South Korea, US, and Sweden reveal some unique aspects of Japan’s contemporary child raising, and how ICT tools affect co-parenting and the sharing of housework.

Migration Policy Interactions Between Receiving Country-Sending Country: A Comparative Study from International Sociology

[JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A), 19H00607]
Period 2019 – 2021
Researcher Keiko HIRANO (Project Research Fellow, IGS)[Co-Investigator] Akihiro KOIDO (Professor, Hitotsubashi University) [Principal-Investigator]

This research project aims to analyze migration issues by examining the effect of dynamic policy linkage between receiving–sending countries. Co-researcher conducts the analysis of migration policies in Indonesia, and will interview migration policy makers at its Manpower ministry.

Research on Unstable Masculinity

[JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B), 18H00937]

Period 2018 – 2020
Researcher Masako ISHII-KUNTZ (Director, IGS/Professor, Ochanomizu University)
Kimio ITO (Kyoto Sangyo University, Research Leader)
Outline Given the background of the move toward gender equality and women’s active participation in Japanese society, we are conducting research on men’s stress, psychological problems including suicide, DV, and labor and housework/child care. We will conduct attitudes survey and interviews to men’s consultation centers in the local governments. Our final objective is to make policy suggestions based on our findings.

Hurdles for Women’s Political Participation: Surveys of Diet Members and Party Officials

[JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B), 18H00817]

Period 2018 – 2020
Researcher Ki-young SHIN (Associate Professor, IGS) [Co-Investigator] Mari MIURA (Professor, Sophia University) [Principle Investigator]
Outline This research examines the hurdles for women to enter the legislative politics in Japan. Drawing on international comparative research on countries with similar mixed member electoral systems, it will focus on the recruitment process of women and men candidates and how the process is gendered in a way that women and men face different opportunities and challenges.

Business Process Outsourcing and Gender in Developing Asia: India, Philippines and China

[JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B), 17H02247]

Period 2017 – 2020
Researcher Fumie OHASHI (Associate Professor, IGS)[Co-Investigator] Mariko ADACHI (Visiting Researcher, IGS) [Co-Investigator] Yoshie HORI (Dokkyo University) [Principal Investigator]
Outline This project aims to construct a theory of the international division of labour in the service sector of emerging Asian countries through investigating current trends in international business process outsourcing (BPO); women’s work; and relevant changes in society. The practice of BPO in the service sector has been developing since the 2000s in India, Philippines and China, and this project seeks to compare these countries in terms of these trends.

Domestic and Care Workers in Japan in the Age of International Gendered Division of Reproductive Labor: A Genealogy of Solidarity

[JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B), 19H01578]

Period 2019 – 2021
Researcher Fumie OHASHI (Associate Professor, IGS) [Co-Investigator] Keiko HIRANO (Project Research Fellow, IGS)  [Co-Investigator] Aya SADAMATSU (Keisen University) [Principal Investigator]
Outline This research project will discuss how Japan is facing an international division of reproductive labor by focusing on the following two topics: (1) Unequal relations of employers/agencies/labor; (2) Labor regime surrounding the domestic workers and care workers, arguing that this regime can be changed through workers’ individual/collective actions based on their limited social capital.

Creating Teaching Materials to Guarantee the Right to Know the Origin of AID Children

(JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), 16K12111

Period 2016-2019
Researcher Yukari SEMBA (Project Research Fellow) [Co-Investigator]
Kiyomi SHIMIZU (Josai International University) [Principal Investigator]
Outline In Japan, donor insemination has been performed for more than 60 years, and sperm donors should have been anonymous. However, there is a tendency to abolish gamete donor anonymity in other countries because of respect for donor offspring’s welfare. This research aims to create information material for intended parents and donors to learn the importance of securing a donor offspring’s right to know the origin of births.

Research on How Other Countries Dealt with the Conflict between Gamete Donor Anonymity and Donor Offspring’s Right to Know

[JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), 18K00034]
Period 2018-2020
Researcher Yukari SEMBA (Project Research Fellow, IGS)
Outline In Japan, donor insemination has been carried out anonymously since its first implementation. Recently, egg donation is receiving increasing attention, and it may generate discussions regarding donor anonymity. This research aims to explore what kind of discussion took place before passing legislation for securing donor offspring’s right to know, and to clarify their situation after the law took effect in other countries.

Politics of Gender Quota: Institutionalization and Backlash

[JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), 19K12604]

Period 2019-2021
Researcher Ki-young SHIN (Associate Professor, IGS)
Outline This study analyzes the effects of the gender quota system, that was introduced to enhance women’s representation in the Korean legislatures. South Korea has introduced a gender quota system in the early 2000s by which parties are required to nominate women to a certain percentage of political party candidates. However, women still make up less than 20% as of 2019. This outcome has raised questions about the effect of the current quota system. Previous studies have pointed out that one of the reasons the quota system did not work was quota backlash, that is, various forms of resistance to quota’s implementation and defamation of the quota women. This study aims at clarifying the reasons why gender quota system does not work in South Korea by analyzing parties’ recruitment pattern, the political career path of women legislators elected by quota, and (in)formal forms of quota backlash over the past 15 years.

Migrant Women and the Reproductive Sphere in Hong Kong: Gender Analysis of Hong Kong as a Global City

[JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), 19K12603]
Period 2019-2021
Researcher Fumie OHASHI (Associate Professor, IGS)
Outline This research project will analyze how the reproductive labor power of migrant women has been allocated in Hong Kong by collecting oral histories from Chinese domestic workers, foreign domestic workers, and their employers. Hong Kong has shifted its economic strategy from export-oriented manufacturing in favor of becoming a “global city.” While establishing itself as the international financial/trade center of East Asia in the 1970s-1980s, Hong Kong started to accept foreign domestic workers. This trend coincided with the labor reallocation of Chinese women who migrated from mainland Canton, becoming domestic workers in Hong Kong. Even today, this dynamism of the trans-local and trans-national migration of women has been affecting the socio-economic relations of Hong Kong. By collecting “memories of care” from the different migrant women and employers in Hong Kong, this project will shed light on the shift of labor in the? reproductive sphere against the background of “global city” development.

“The Women Question” in the late 18th-century Britain: Toward a Possibility of the Utilitarian Feminism.

[JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), 19K01570]
Period 2019-2021
Researcher Hiroaki ITAI (Project Lecturer, IGS)
Outline This research project focuses on utilitarian feminism that has been criticized in the history of feminist thought for its patriarchal support. In particular, it examines aspects of utilitarian feminism in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, considering Bentham, Thompson, and J.S. Mill’s ideas of women and families. It reveals the theoretical and practical influence of classical utilitarianism on feminism and its uniqueness.

Transformation of “Migrant/ Domestic Workers” in Indonesia

[JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), 17K02067]
Period 2017-2020
Researcher Keiko HIRANO (Project Research Fellow, IGS)
Outline This research project analyzes the transformation of “migrant/ domestic workers” in Indonesia through analyzing migration policy change and the style of dispatching domestic workers, such as via smartphone application. In concert with the emerging middle class in Metropolitan Jakarta area, housing style have been changing recently. [Housing styles in Metropolitan Jakarta have adapted to meet the demands of the emerging middle class.] This new housing has led to engaging living-out domestic workers and gig-economy style domestic workers. This research aims to examine human rights issues by comparing the rights of living-out and live-in domestic workers against these shifts in housing styles and urban life.

Reintegration of Indonesian Migrant Workers After Returning Home

[JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), 17K02051]

Period 2017-2019
Researcher Keiko HIRANO (Project Research Fellow, IGS) [Co-Investigator] Junko NAKATANI(Associate professor, Osaka Sangyo University) [Principal-Investigator]
Outline This research project reveals the process of building next life-stage strategies? by Indonesian migrants after their return home through interviews with ex-migrants themselves, their families and community members in the sending area. Co-researcher focuses on ex-migrant domestic workers who have joined the domestic workers’ union Sapulidi, based in Jakarta, and work as domestic workers in the Jakarta Metropolitan areas through the interviews with Sapulidi members. As 2019 was the final year in this research project, the research findings will be reported at meetings of domestic and international societies.

Research on Families Formed via Donor Conception

[Toyota Foundation Research Grants-in-Aid Program, D16-R-0788

Period May 2017 – December 2019
Researcher Yukari SEMBA (Project Research Fellow, IGS)
Outline Recently the use of reproductive medicine is becoming more common, and the demand for reproductive medicine and the number of children born through medical assistance are increasing. The research is focused on donor conception families and explores how donor conception families share their family building stories with children, through interviews in Japan and other countries.

Norway-Japan: Bridging Research and Education in Gender Equality and Diversity

[Norway Research Council, INTPART, 287699

Period 2019-2021
Researcher Masako ISHII-KUNTZ (Director, IGS/Professor, Ochanomizu University)
Ryoko KODAMA (Professor, Ochanomizu University/Researcher, IGS)
Ki-young SHIN (Associate Professor, IGS)
Fumie OHASHI (Associate Professor, IGS)
Yukari SEMBA (Project Research Fellow, IGS)
Kumi YOSHIHARA (Project Research Fellow, IGS)
Junko SANO (Project Lecturer, Institute for Global Leadership)
Derek Kenji PINILLOS MATSUDA (Lecturer, Center for International Education)
The Center for Gender Studies, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)Hirano Keiko (Project Research Fellow, IGS)
Outline A collaborative project with the Center for Gender Studies of NTNU. This project analyzes the current state of gender equality and diversity in Norway and Japan, considering the social, cultural, historical and political backgrounds of both countries. The aim of the project is to develop new perspectives for researching gender and diversity issues through comparative understanding of the differences and similarities of the two societies. Individual research projects are organized according to members’ research interests.