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Title: Ballet as liberation : dreams, desire and resistance among urban Japanese women
Author: Ono, Sayako
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 4450
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis explores how ballet, a western performing art, provides middle-class women with a sense of fulfillment and an opportunity to escape hegemonic gender ideals in Japan. In everyday situations Japanese women are expected to dedicate their time and energy to others - husbands, parents, children and workplace superiors. I argue that indulging their own personal enjoyment is not encouraged by broader society, while in the post-bubble era the expression of neoliberal and globalised individualism is recognised among younger generations. Within this context of expected behaviour, some women use and consume ballet as a tool of resistance, albeit a fragile one, against the 'traditional' gender norms of Japanese society. Among anthropologists ballet is rarely a mainstream topic for analysis becauseit is seen as a western 'high art', far removed from their traditional fields of study. Therefore the following thesis offers a novel anthropological perspective on the study of ballet as performed by middleclass amateur housewives and by doing so highlights contemporary Japanese notions of gender relations and sense of embodied selfhood.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral