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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien


Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
Jochi Kioizaka Bldg. 2F
7-1 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 102-0094, Japan
Tel: 03 – 3222 5198, Fax: 03 – 3222 5420


Registration Info

The presentation will be given in English. The DIJ Social Science Study Group is a forum for young scholars and Ph.D. candidates in the field of Social Sciences. As always, all are welcome to attend, but please register with

The national rate of (re)production: gendered discourse in Japanese policy-making

July 25 - October 18, 2017 / 6.30 P.M.

Sherry L. Martin, Cornell University

In this presentation, I examine how women’s decisions about
marriage and family have impacted official discourse about
women’s role in national re/production. I use the very public
pronouncements about the low-birthrate society made by male politicians
as a starting point for thinking about how and where to locate
political agency among women. Analysis of discourse makes
women’s political actions visible through the responses that
they evoke among political men. Statements by male politicians and
policymakers suggest that they see women as resisting gendered
citizenship obligations and disrupting “gendered”
roles for which there may be no policy fix. Through control over the
occurrence and timing of “common” life events,
Japanese women have made visible their position at the center of the
nation’s demographic discourse, and are articulating a
gendered consciousness that has influenced political discourse on their
role in maintaining the common good.

Sherry L. Martin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of
Government at Cornell University.


Challenges of Demographic Change