‘Working fathers' in Japan: Leading a change in gender relations?

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Does the emergent phenomenon of ‘working fathers' herald a process of change in gender relations in Japan? Against the background of the current discourse in Japan about new modes of fathers' participation in the family, the article focuses on the small group of working fathers — men who explicitly organize their working lives around family responsibilities — to examine the potentiality of change. This supposed change in the roles of men (and women), at home and in the workplace, is considered in terms of latency, as a ‘slow-dripping' process. The qualitative research focuses on Fathering Japan, Japan's leading fathering movement, its ideology, its members and their families. The article offers a critical perspective, juxtaposing gender ideology with practice. Exploring the real-life experiences of working fathers caught between family and work, especially against Japan's gendered corporate culture, the article also addresses the persistence of gender inequality in Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-378
Number of pages17
JournalGender, Work and Organization
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2020


  • Japan
  • change
  • family and work
  • gender relations
  • work culture
  • ‘working fathers'


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