Office Ladies and Salaried Men: Power, Gender, and Work in Japanese Companies

Front Cover
University of California Press, 1998 - Business & Economics - 221 pages
4 Reviews
In large corporations in Japan, much of the clerical work is carried out by young women known as "office ladies" (OLs) or "flowers of the workplace." Largely nameless, OLs serve tea to the men and type and file their reports. They are exempt from the traditional lifetime employment and have few opportunities for promotion. In this engaging ethnography, Yuko Ogasawara exposes the ways that these women resist men's power, and why the men, despite their exclusive command of authority, often subject themselves to the women's control. Ogasawara, a Japanese sociologist trained in the United States, skillfully mines perceptive participant-observation analyses and numerous interviews to outline the tensions and humiliations of OL work. She details the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that OLs who are frustrated by demeaning, dead-end jobs thwart their managers and subvert the power structure to their advantage. Using gossip, outright work refusal, and public gift-giving as manipulative strategies, they can ultimately make or break the careers of the men. This intimate and absorbing analysis illustrates how the relationships between women and work, and women and men, are far more complex than the previous literature has shown.
 

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Review: Office Ladies and Salaried Men: Power, Gender, and Work in Japanese Companies

User Review  - Ivan - Goodreads

It explains some aspects of the Japanese workplace to the unfamiliar people, but otherwise an unexceptional book on gender discrimination and resistance methods in Japan. It must have been extremely ... Read full review

Review: Office Ladies and Salaried Men: Power, Gender, and Work in Japanese Companies

User Review  - Dani - Goodreads

This was an assigned book for a Japanese Culture class I took in university, however we were only assigned a couple chapters to read, so 3 years later upon seeing it on my bookshelf I decided to read ... Read full review

Contents

The Japanese Labor Market and Office Ladies
17
Why Office Ladies Do Not Organize
44
Gossip
70
Popularity Poll
98
Acts of Resistance
114
6
127
PROFILES OF SARARlMAN
178
GLOSSARY
201
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Yuko Ogasawara is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Edogawa University.

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