Constructing sexual risk: ‘Chikan’,collapsing male authority and the emergence of women-only train carriages in Japan

Horii, Mitsutoshi and Burgess, Adam (2012) Constructing sexual risk: ‘Chikan’,collapsing male authority and the emergence of women-only train carriages in Japan. Health, Risk & Society, 14 (1). pp. 41-55. ISSN 1369-8575. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/13698575.2011.641523) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13698575.2011.641523

Abstract

Women-only train carriages have been introduced in Japan as a response to widespread groping (chikan) by men. In August 2007, 155 young women completed a survey at a variety of locations in central Tokyo, mainly at the popular meeting places, Shinjuku and Shibuya. The survey involved face-to-face interviews conducted mainly by young female interviewers. The numbers involved are insufficient for rigorous statistical analysis and in this pilot study we were principally interested in further refining ideas and hypotheses for further investigation by considering results in the context of significant contemporary social trends. This article starts by considering a particular cultural context in which the issue of groping resulted in the introduction of women-only train carriages and this official antigroping measure which has been widely accepted. The article then examines women’s responses to the availability of women-only train carriages, using surveys carried out in Tokyo. It concludes by considering the specific and anomalous targeting of primarily middle aged ‘salarymen’, a focus understood in the context of the collapse of the ideological power of the patriarchal corporate figure associated with the end of the Japanese economic miracle. Women’s use and support for women-only train carriages is not solely dominated by anxiety over the risk of chikan. Our survey indicated that it was a symbolic rejection of a particular type of masculinity, rather than the physical separation from a risk of being groped.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: chikan; groping; women-only; Japan; risk
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Mita Mondal
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2013 11:15 UTC
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2014 10:47 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/36199 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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