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#1: Power Distance

Lifetime employment and regular income are said to have made them consumers of exclusive and expensive goods Harney, But the well-established branches of male consumption are being threatened Broughton, as sales are going down, especially products such as cars and alcohol Lim, The declining consumption has a problematic effect on the economic turmoil that Japan was already facing Harney, ; Pesek, ; Otagai, ; Lim, To some extent they present a logical conclusion of the foregoing, as the economic changes with the effect of precarious employment and lower income generally are leading to a decline in male purchasing power, but the herbivorous boys are making more shifts in the consumption patterns of men.

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During the bubble era consumption was regarded as good and people measured their value by money, whereas herbivorous men are not buying things to show off Otagaki, In general it is assumed that it is no longer important to those young men to boost their status through consumption Arima, Furthermore alcohol and tobacco have become substituted by sweets and goods that were considered as inappropriate for males less than twenty years ago Lim, The unmanly fashion choices Japanese men could make were skirts and lacy tops, which happened to be designed for men Broughton, and were being topped by the male bra Otake, ; McNeill, ; McCurry, The shift of men towards formerly feminine connoted consumption patterns is also common in the West and therefore common knowledge of masculinities, yet by referring to i.

Here a first indication of utilising Japanese masculinity as a worst-case scenario illustrating ramifications of changing masculinity is perceivable. Drawing on the definition of herbivorous boys as shying away from women, the discourse is searching for reasons for this. An argumentation is presented in the discourse that indicates a reciprocal connection of masculinity and femininity.

Change of men and women is therefore as much a cause as it is a consequence. Therefore the discourse can claim that new types of femininity trigger a change of masculinity and vice versa. In several articles friendship without sexual interest is emphasised Lim ; Neill ; McNeill, ; Harney, This is deemed to be a huge step towards a more equal relationship between men and women in general McNeill, In the first argument a lower male libido is regarded as impossible while the second one is trying to understand the decline in male sexual drive.

Sex drive and masculinity are strongly entwined in this argument making it impossible to declare a decline in male lust, at least for a healthy male. Rather than admitting a declined sex drive a sublimation of sexuality towards other means of satisfaction was noted, like pornography, sex toys or cybersex instead of real women Harney, ; Pesek, Yet the discourse rates this as unfavourably with regard to the shrinking birth rate Harney, Implicated here is a connection between sexual activity as a marker of masculinity and birth rates.

It is implicated through this statement that men may only think of marriage and starting a family if they possess the financial means to do so, which simultaneously indicates that the maxim of the male breadwinner still remains strong. Men have been expected to work full-time after leaving the education system, marry and support wife and children Otagaki, The argumentative structure in this topic is very complex and linked to other topics of the discourse.

However the entanglement of masculinity with economic status, marriage and reproduction becomes obvious. If the birth rate stays low or declines even more, the shrinking of the workforce could be accelerated Pesek, Although the population is rapidly aging Japan does not welcome large-scale immigration of foreign workers ibid. Hence yet again it is utilised as an example to convey possible consequences and links between masculinity and social conditions.

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These findings are discussed in perspective to the common knowledge stock of the media workers and its connections to the concept of hegemonic masculinity, a global hegemonic masculinity, the hegemonic viewpoint as well as internal and external hegemony. Additionally the recurring motive of reciprocal change of men and women is part of the common knowledge stock.

The impact of femininity on masculinity should not be underestimated Connell and Messerschmidt, , p. As women change, so do men and vice versa. It is noteworthy that despite the dislike of the herbivores was stated several times in the discourse, it was not laden with accusations towards women as for example in the media discourse in Germany about changed masculinity Pauer, ; Scheuerman, The question who changes and why was not presented as a gendered problem between sexes in the discourse, but a self interest in change of men Pease, was also absent from the discourse as cause for change of men and masculinities.

Rather the discourse naturalises diversification of men and masculinities by concluding that it coincides with and due to economic and social changes, yet political changes were not mentioned in detail and only one article referred to that topic specifically Harney, Moreover it is used to construct a subordination of Japanese masculinity.

As stated in the beginning I presume the working of external and internal hegemony on the global and regional level of masculinity construction. Furthermore I hypothetically assumed the media to take a hegemonic viewpoint and constructing a matrix of hierarchical masculinities. This is external hegemony. Granted a dominant status in Japan as early as Vogel , the salaryman has been identified and studied accordingly as the Japanese hegemonic masculinity in various approaches and fields Louie and Low, ; Roberson and Suzuki, ; McLelland and Dasgupta, and is still discussed as such Hidaka, ; Dasgupta, The salaryman has also been the model on which Japan based the makeup of its post-war welfare state and constructed the gender order subordinating other men and women Osawa, By demonstrating that the salaryman is a declining form of masculinity its foothold in the ranks of a global hegemonic masculinity is in jeopardy and becoming unstable.

The discourse simultaneously utilises the decline of the salaryman to indicate the importance of maintaining a strong and thriving economic power base which is needed to construct a masculinity that can be recognised as close to the ideal of a global hegemonic masculinity. Hence not surprisingly it is established and reproduced as common knowledge by the media workers with no need to establish a new background to interpret reality. Yet concurrently the knowledge constructed in the discourse about Japanese masculinity is used to subject Japan and Japanese masculinity from the hegemonic viewpoint.

The subordination then not only applies to Japanese masculinities but the country itself. This clearly demonstrates the working of internal hegemony by the western hegemonic viewpoint in the media constructing a power matrix or hierarchy of masculinities. It seems that the hegemonic lens to view reality is merely economic, which arises from the strong nexus with masculinity construction.

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Donaldson, Mike What is hegemonic masculinity? In Asia reconstructed. Ehrenreich, Barbara The hearts of men. Y: Anchor Press. Flood, Michael ed. International encyclopedia of men and masculinities. Freedman, Alisa Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific Recreating Japanese men.

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The life of a salaryman revolves around work. The activities that he does outside of work typically involve his coworkers, which lessens the distance between him and work. Changing social circumstances have greatly diversified the life of the salaryman outside of work. Though the importance of social drinking has not declined, its image has changed over time from mass partying during the economic bubble to conservative consumption at home after the collapse of the economy during the s.

Mahjong was an immensely popular game among the s generation of salarymen, who brought the game into company circles directly from high school and college groups. The s generation saw a gradual decrease in the number of avid mahjong players, and by the s, it became common to not show any interest at all.

Some current salarymen do not partake in the game. Golf became widely popular during the economic bubble, when golf club passes became useful tools for currying favor with corporate executives. Many mid-level salarymen were pressured into taking up golf to participate in golfing events with their superiors. The collapse of the economic bubble led to the closing of many golf courses, and the ritual of playing golf with executives has become increasingly rare.

However, some current salarymen may have golfing experience from their student days, and golf is still acknowledged as an expensive hobby for salarymen. According to a Washington Post article, the Japanese government attempted for years to set a limit to the number of hours one can work, and the issue has been prevalent since the s. However, many Japanese still criticize the government and believe there should be laws and penalties for companies that violate work hour laws. In , Kenichi Uchino, a year-old quality-control manager at Toyota , collapsed and died after working over 80 hours unpaid overtime for six months.

After this incident, Toyota announced it would begin monitoring their workers' health and pay for all of their overtime hours.

Asian Masculinities: The Meaning and Practice of Manhood in China and Japan - Semantic Scholar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Berkeley: U of California, Undergraduate Journal of Global Citizenship 1. Archived from the original PDF on By Kam Louie and Morris Low. London: Routledge, The Washington Post. July 13, Retrieved April 5, Red Pepper. Authority control NDL :