By Anne Allison
In Nightwork, Anne Allison opens a window onto jap company tradition and gender identities. Allison played the ritualized initiatives of a hostess in a single of Tokyo's many "hostess clubs": pouring beverages, lighting fixtures cigarettes, and making flattering or titillating dialog with the businessmen who got here there on corporation cost money owed. Her ebook severely examines how such institutions create bonds between white-collar males and forge a masculine identification that fits the wishes in their corporations.
Allison describes intimately a customary corporation day out to this kind of club—what the boys do, how they have interaction with the hostesses, the position the hostess is predicted to play, and the level to which all of this consists of "play" instead of "work." not like earlier books on jap nightlife, Allison's ethnography of 1 particular hostess membership (here often called Bijo) perspectives the final phenomenon from the eyes of a lady, hostess, and feminist anthropologist.
Observing that golf equipment like Bijo extra a type of masculinity depending on the gestures and labors of ladies, Allison seeks to discover connections among such habit and different social, monetary, sexual, and gendered family members. She argues that jap company nightlife permits and institutionalizes a specific kind of ritualized male dominance: in buying this leisure, jap organizations not just provide their male staff a self-image as phallic guy, but in addition increase relationships to paintings which are unconditional and unbreakable. this can be a ebook that might entice someone drawn to gender roles or in modern jap society.
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Extra info for Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure, and Corporate Masculinity in a Tokyo Hostess Club
It was by the expenditure of money alone that his hosts aimed to accomplish their objective-to project their own status as a prestigious finn and to project their esteem for him as a desired client. These intentions were, in fact, accomplished, for the man Signed the deal despite the fact that he was less than entertained during his night of entertainment. In japan, utilizing money as a symbolic currency in social relations is a practice hardly limited to corporate entertainment. One sees it in the gift of exorbitantly priced fruit-for example, perfect melons that cost as much as $200-and in the presents given during gift-exchange seasons that are chosen almost entirely by a calibration of price (Creighton 1992).
In the language of Kaja Silverman (1992), this hostess-bred image of men is a fantasy, encouraged and conditioned by the money and power of elite institutions. She argues, following Lacan, that all social existence entails a loss, and fantasy is what we use to compensate for the real "lacks" in our lives. Accordingly, fantasies are "scenarios" or "tableaux" that imagine, as completed, what in reality can only remain fragmented and partial. Fantasy gives form to desire, and imagination to reality, but is itself an impossibility.
In principle, high-ranked sarariiman in big companies would agree that they could: a cheap yakitoriya (a restaurant that sells skewers of meat, fish, and vegetables) or akachochin (a "red lantern pub"-that is, an inexpensive drinking place) could serve just as well as a high-class hostess club or expensive golf course. Yet in practice, the men admitted, settai in big companies are held almost exclusively in one of the latter. The reasons, when given, were the cost and (in the case of a hostess club) the women.