The Work of Gender: Service, Performance and Fantasy in Contemporary Japan


Edited by Gitte Marianne Hansen and Fabio Gygi 

Gender and sexuality in Japan has long been a field of academic study, with gender mainly being examined either as masculinities, femininities or as deviating sexualities. In recent years, however, widespread interest in manga, anime and cosplay among the world’s youth has aroused popular interest in the Japanese approach to gender and sexuality. In a sense, this engaging volume brings these two worlds together. It builds on earlier scholarly work and discusses normative and non-normative gender and sexualities in one volume. The chapters deftly bring together and engage with theories of gender presentation, performance and performativity. However, they are also solid ethnographic studies, extensively researched and clearly argued. Through careful attention to lived realities, they allow readers to understand not only how gender is constructed and commodified in contemporary Japan but also how it is presented and performed in different contexts. At the same time, youth culture resonates through the volume, which is mainly written by early-career scholars with a largely undergraduate and postgraduate readership in mind. With compelling studies, evocatively presented, this volume may well go on to become an important resource on gender and sexuality in Japan. Moreover, with its many insights into how ethnographic methodologies might best be employed, the book has much to offer students and scholars working outside of Japanese studies as well

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The Work of Gender: Service, Performance and Fantasy in Contemporary Japan

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