East Asia

Assessing the Korean Military's Gay Sex Ban in the International Context

Citation:

Lee, Alvin. 2010. "Assessing the Korean Military's Gay Sex Ban in the International Context." Law & Sexuality: A Review of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Legal Issues 19: 67-94.

Author: Alvin Lee

Topics: Gender, Men, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Sexuality Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: South Korea

Year: 2010

The Art of the Gut: Manhood, Power, and Ethics in Japanese Politics

Citation:

LeBlanc, Robin M. 2010. The Art of the Gut: Manhood, Power and Ethics in Japanese Politics. Berkeley: University of California Press. 

Author: Robin M. LeBlanc

Topics: Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Governance Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2010

Power and Representation: The Case of South Korean Women Workers

Citation:

Mee, K. H. 1998. “Power and Representation: The Case of South Korean Women Workers.” Asian Journal of Women's Studies 4 (3): 61–108.

Author: K. H. Mee

Abstract:

This article focuses on South Korean working class women's political and cultural negotiation in the contexts of the South Korean labor movement of the late 1980s and the ever-evolving international division of labor. Based on an in-depth case study of a labor dispute in a U.S.-owned multinational corporation, it raises issues about how women workers in the international circuit of global capitalism are represented. By looking at how a labor struggle, waged by women workers against a multinational company's (MNC) factory closure, is presented in the realm of media representation and other writings, this article attempts to show how their struggle became a ground of discourse formation, reflecting diverse political interests. This is done by looking at the process of their struggle in the national and transnational space. The workers' own narratives, the media's presentation of their struggle, and the workers' own perception of it, are examined. While this article shows how the Korean women worker's struggle becomes a ground of discourse formation, reflecting varied political interests, it also focuses on how the workers manipulate their own images in a sophisticated way in vying for support from a broader audience. I define this as a specific form of "subaltern" representation and argue that gender images operate as core symbols of labor activities and constitute an important symbolic framework for the international division of labor. Since this case highlights diverse aspects of the conditions of Korean women workers' struggle, cutting across divisions of gender, class, and nation, it offers an arena for understanding the female subject in the process of globalization, which involves a complicated nexus of power and representation.

Topics: Class, Economies, Gender, Women, Media, Globalization, Livelihoods, Nationalism, Multi-National Corporations, Political Participation Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: South Korea

Year: 1998

Subalternization of Asian Women Workers in American Transnational Capitalism in the Late Twentieth Century

Citation:

Kim, Min Hoe 김민회. 2009. “Subalternization of Asian Women Workers in American Transnational Capitalism in the Late Twentieth Century.” Journal of American Studies 41 (1): 45–71.

Author: Min Hoe Kim 김민회

Abstract:

One thing which Asian American scholars in the late twentieth century have considered as the most controversial issue in relation to Asian women subjectivity is how to recover visibility of Asian women subject and relocate them from the subalternized positions in the processes of multinational, corporate capitalism which collude with the local patriarchies and constantly-reinvented traditions by them. Gayatri Spivak indicates that those systems have erased the Asian women workers' desire not only for becoming an independent subject for those phllucentric labor systems but also for being a consuming subject to which they have produced by themselves. Similarly, Grace Chang, Evelyn Hu-DeHart, Aihwa Ong, and Andrew Ross argue that Asian and Asian immigrant workers have been placed at a doubly oppressive subject by domestic and international economic systems of labor division. By examining the subcontract system and sweatshops which substantially reinforce the collusion of local patriarchal social and economic system with the transnational capitalism, this essay reveals how the transnational corporations manipulate the cheap labor of Asian female workers without facing moral responsibility using subcontract system and further examine ethnic-based advertisement to the Asian countries at which their plants are located. The purpose of this essay is to raise such controversial issues in relation to two patriarchal economic systems on the surface and conclusively seek an alternative to centerizing women subjectivity from the marginalized and sublaternized positions by examining one Korean struggle with local and transnational capitalism.

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Livelihoods, Multi-National Corporations Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: South Korea

Year: 2009

Notes from the Field: A Roundtable: Migrant Women Negotiate Foreign Investment in Southern Chinese Factories

Citation:

Ye, Zhang. 2004. "Notes from the Field: A Roundtable: Migrant Women Negotiate Foreign Investment in Southern Chinese Factories." Signs 29 (2): 540-3.

Author: Zhang Ye

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Gender, Livelihoods, Multi-National Corporations, NGOs Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2004

From “Country Bumpkins” to “Tough Workers”: The Pursuit of Masculinity Among Male Factory Workers in China

Citation:

Kim, Jaesok. 2015. "From “Country Bumpkins” to “Tough Workers”: The Pursuit of Masculinity Among Male Factory Workers in China." Anthropological Quarterly 88 (1): 133-161.

Author: Jaesok Kim

Abstract:

This article explores the formation of a new industrial underclass in post- Mao China, focusing on a group of young male workers' gendered interpretation of their subjection to an exploitative factory regime. I examine the experiential and performative dimensions of this subjection, which are intricately linked to China's insertion into the global capitalist economy. The transformation of China into the "world's factory" depended on the dramatic increase of foreign direct investment and the rapid expansion of labor-intensive, low-skilled factory jobs that favored the labor of rural migrant women. While the "feminization of production labor" generated some positive outcomes among the women workers, it turned a group of unskilled young male migrants into an industrial underclass. These men assumed menial jobs that drained their physical strength while offering virtually no chance of promotion or improvement in their future lives. Male workers reacted to the exploitative factory regime by engaging in binge drinking and extreme forms of anti-social behavior. This case study shows how class solidarity is sometimes deflected into the domain of gender conflict.

Keywords: labor, gender, masculinity, multinational corporation, China, garment industry, globalization

Topics: Class, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Globalization, Livelihoods, Multi-National Corporations, Political Economies Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2015

Do Race and Gender Matter in International Assignments To/from Asia Pacific? An Exploratory Study of Attitudes among Chinese

Citation:

Tung, Rosalie L. 2008. “Do Race and Gender Matter in International Assignments To/from Asia Pacific? An Exploratory Study of Attitudes among Chinese.” Human Resource Management 47 (1): 91–110.

Author: Rosalie L. Tung

Abstract:

Based on a survey of EMBA students in China and South Korea, this article examines how two sensitive but potentially salient criteria—race and gender—affect the selection of an executive to head the (a) foreign operations of a U.S. multinational in China and South Korea and (b) newly acquired U.S. operations of a Korean multinational. The results reveal a fairly complex picture of how gender, race, and the interplay of these two factors might affect these decisions. In the Korean sample, competencies mattered more than race and gender in a senior executive appointment to the U.S. operations of Korean multinationals. Also in the Korean sample, race and gender outweighed competencies in assignments to Korea. In the Chinese sample, competencies outweighed race and gender in a senior executive appointment in China. Overall, Koreans had a more positive attitude toward foreign-born Koreans than the Chinese toward foreign-born Chinese for senior executive appointments. Implications for international human resource management and diversity management, both theoretical and applied, are discussed. 

Topics: Economies, Gender, Multi-National Corporations, Race Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, East Asia Countries: China, South Korea, United States of America

Year: 2008

The Impact of Japanese Corporate Transnationalism on Men’s Involvement in Family Life and Relationships

Citation:

Yasuike, Akiko. 2011. “The Impact of Japanese Corporate Transnationalism on Men’s Involvement in Family Life and Relationships.” Journal of Family Issues 32 (12): 1700–25.

Author: Akiko Yasuike

Abstract:

This study examines the ways in which Japanese corporate transnationalism affects husbands’ involvement in family life and marital relationships primarily from a perspective of wives. It is based on interviews with 22 Japanese wives and 4 husbands. Studies of Japanese corporate transnationalism treat men as mere supervisors to local workers or representatives of corporations and pay little attention to their family relations. The study found that corporate transnationalism weakens the Japanese masculine corporate culture (which creates absent husbands and fathers) and consequently provides Japanese men an opportunity to consolidate family bonds and integrate themselves into family life, though not all men take advantage of this opportunity. Inasmuch as transnational corporate families are isolated from their friends and relatives in Japan, the degree and willingness of husbands’ involvement in family life has a substantial effect on the quality of marital relationships.

Keywords: gender, family, corporate transnationalism, Japanese

Topics: Economies, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Households, Multi-National Corporations Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2011

Economic Development Policies and Women Workers: Filipina Workers in a Japanese Transplant

Citation:

 Licuanan-Galela, Niza. 2001. “Economic Development Policies and Women Workers: Filipina Workers in a Japanese Transplant.” NWSA Journal 13 (3): 169–80.

Author: Niza Licuanan-Galela

Annotation:

Introduction: Economic globalization has resulted in the integration of economies and workers on a worldwide scale. Export industrialization is one of the key strategies that has made globalization possible; central to the success of export industrialization programs are transnational corporations (TNCs) that engage in off-shore productions. Encouraged by the economic success of export industrialization, many developing countries have anchored their development programs on this economic strategy. To secure investment in their countries, governments offer inducements that often include export processing zones (EPZ) with no-strike policies, cheap but highly- skilled labor, and tax holidays. In return, the host governments expect the TNCs to create employment opportunities, and through their investments, to boost the domestic economy.

Women are the major resources for the cheap but skilled labor force that are found in the EPZs. For example, in the Philippines, women compose more than 80 percent of workers involved in export industrialization, and have formed the backbone of the country's economy (Chant 1996; Chant and Mcllwaine 1995;Hutchinson 1992). Fuentes and Ehrenreich contend that due to both biological and social reasons, women have been heavily recruited to do the labor-intensive jobs found on global assembly lines (1983). Boserup (1970) and others (Beneria and Sen 1981; Buvinic 1976; Ward 1988) contend that economic development strategies, especially those concerned with industrial development, more often led to further marginalization of women's status. Studies on women in global assembly lines indicate that women's work experiences, especially the way they are treated in these factories, have profound effects on their perception of their status (Chant and Mcllwaine 1995;Nash andFernandez-Kelly1983; Ong 1987;Poster 1998; Tiano 1994; Ward1990; Wolf 1992).

This study addresses two questions on women engaged in TNC global assembly line work.' First, what type of labor-management policies are found on global assembly lines in the Philippines? Second, how have these labor managerial policies and practices affected Filipino women workers on the global assembly line? Beyond these questions, the paper also explores the implications of these work experiences on rural women's social position in the Philippines. If global assembly-line work emerges as the most dominant form of industrial work for rural women, would it lead to the enhancement or further marginalization of women workers' status?

This research is based on a case study using in-depth interviews with Filipino women workers in a Japanese automotive, wiring-harness, assembly plant. The date provides insights on how work is engendered on the global assembly lines. It helps us understand the workplace dynamics that underlie the experiences women workers have reported in earlier research (see Chant and Mcllwaine 1995; Eviota 1992; Fuentes and Ehrenreich 1983; Grossman 1980; Ong 1987).This study also offers insights into how national development policies are transformed at the local level into labor- management policies which directly affect women's work experiences.

I argue that the working conditions in the local factories are a product of the interplay between the local culture's gender ideology and the work cultures' gender ideology. The detailed information presented here on how Japanese labor-management systems are transferred and adopted into Southeast Asian global assembly lines broadens our understanding, not only of the degree and form of transference of Japanese labor managerial practices; it also delineates the unique ways in which gender is manipulated in the work place. In global assembly lines not only are investments and technology transferred from the mother corporation to the off-shore production factories, but systems of gendered labor-management are transplanted as well.

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender, Women, Globalization, Livelihoods, Multi-National Corporations Regions: Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Japan, Philippines

Year: 2001

Negotiating Difference: Constructing Selves and Others in a Transnational Apparel Manufacturing Firm

Citation:

Feldman, Shelley, and Stephanie Buechler. 1998. “Negotiating Difference: Constructing Selves and Others in a Transnational Apparel Manufacturing Firm.” The Sociological Quarterly 39 (4): 623–44.

Authors: Shelley Feldman, Stephanie Buechler

Abstract:

Research on immigrant women workers in the United States and Third World women employed by multinational corporations in export-enclaves has highlighted how global movements of capital and labor are expressed in changing labor processes, working conditions, and ethnic relations in the workplace. Notably absent from this body of literature are the ways in which rural, white American women respond to the new work environments offered by direct foreign investments in the United States. Using in-depth interviews with workers and observations of the workplace and the community we explore how the Japanese purchase of an apparel manufacturing firm in upstate New York reconstituted factory floor relations. In so doing, we extend interpretations of the social construction of the labor process by recognizing the racialized and ethnicized character of rural white women. We also show how both workers and managers construct stereotypic expectations of the other that are manipulated on the shop floor in the struggle for control, recognition, and appreciation.

Topics: Economies, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Multi-National Corporations, Race Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan, United States of America

Year: 1998

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