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Gender equality of Japanese women in interracial marriage Liu, Tung-Mei

Abstract

This study applied a qualitative approach to explore five Japanese women's experiences and perceptions of gender equality in interracial marriage, with a primary focus on identifying common factors that affected their experiences. A new trend of interracial marriage among Japanese has emerged in recent years. Although the phenomenon of interracial marriages between Japanese women and Caucasian men has started after World War II, recent studies interpret this trend as a new phenomenon symbolizing feminist movement toward women's emancipation from a male-dominated society. These women's experiences have not been fully investigated. This study employed a multiple-case study method with semi-structured interviews to explore the five women' experiences as well as to identify factors contributing to their experiences. The emerging areas of experiences relevant to gender equality were divided into four different domains: (1) gender role, (2) finances and decision-making, (3) culture and language, and (4) personal power. Factors that contributed to these participants' experiences in these four domains were summarized into five categories: (a) gender role beliefs, (b) financial and cultural resources, (c) socio-cultural factors, (d) personalpsychological factors, and (e) husband's attitudes. The participants' experiences in each domain were influenced by a combination of different factors under these five categories with individual variations. The amount of significance attached to each factor varied from on participant to another. The final results of this study were compared against three major theories of gender equality: i.e., ideology theory, resource theory and process theory. The implications for theories, future research, and counselling are discussed.

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