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Tough choices; bearing an illegitimate child in contemporary Japan.


Tough choices; bearing an illegitimate child in contemporary Japan.

Hertog, Ekaterina.

Stanford U. Press


228 pages




Compared to most Western countries, explains Hertog (sociology of Japan, U. of Oxford), unwed mothers are very rare in Japan, and teenaged unwed mothers even more so. She explores what it is to be an unwed mother in contemporary Japan, and how women end up in this situation. From this prospect, she surveys the choices open to Japanese women and the institutional, social, legal, economic, and normative structures that make Japanese women cling to marriage so resolutely. She considers making the choice, navigating work and welfare, legal discrimination against unwed mothers, the role of social stigma and shame in upholding family norms, and the role of guilt for depriving the child of a second parent.

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Feb 1, 2010
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