ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Gender Question in Modern Japanese Literature

Gender Question in Modern Japanese Literature Unita Sachidanand Japanese women novelists writing in the first decades of this century drew attention to the manner in which women responded to the rapid socio-economic changes taking place in the country THE question of gender has been an important area of research in social sciences. Most researchers have generally attempted to qualitatively or quantitatively measure the status or position of women in differ- ent arena of social and economic systems. Often a value premise is evident whereby the relationship between men and women has been presented as dualistic and contradictory. Such studies, while they serve certain objectives and purposes, nevertheless, tend to present only a partial or a distorted picture of the relationships between the two sets of actors who have together been the makers of human history. While gender inequality has been quite pronounced in Japanese society down the ages, it has never been visualised in Japanese social sciences as a question of gender contradictions or bias. Another weakness of research in the area of women studies has been the adoption of perceptual methods. Little attempt has been made to understand the question of gender by probing into the deeper layers of consciousness. An examination of the literary constructions, the male and female actors interacting against the backdrop of a specific social environment, may be useful and reveal how deeply embedded in human consciousness is the gender issue and how it is articulated.

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