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Palgrave Macmillan

Gender and Welfare States in East Asia

Confucianism or Gender Equality?

ISBN 9780230279087
Publication Date January 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Is a Confucian cultural climate hostile to gender equality in families and public decision-making? What is the impact of gender equality legislation in East Asia? Approaches to these welfare regimes have ignored gender, while gendered accounts of welfare have neglected East Asia. Comparisons with Western welfare states show strong economies with life expectancy in Japan and South Korea above those of Western social democracies but in contrast there are extremely large gender gaps in employment, earning, unpaid work and parliamentary representation and conjoined with this low fertility rates and and minimal public social spending on childcare and early education.

In this volume, contributors address questions about gender equality in a Confucian context across a wide and varied social policy landscape, from Korea and Taiwan, where Confucian culture is deeply embedded, through China, with its transformations from Confucianism to communism and back, to the mixed cultural environments of Hong Kong and Japan. Overall, the collections asks: Has East Asia's rapid economic transformation been accompanied by social and cultural transformation?

Sirin Sung is Lecturer in Social Policy at Queen's University Belfast, UK. Her research interests include gender and social policy, gender and employment, work-life balance policies, gender and benefits in East Asian countries and the UK.

Gillian Pascall is Professor Emeritus of Social Policy at the University of Nottingham, UK. Her research focuses on the relationships between welfare states and gender. She has published widely with recent publications including Gender Equality in the Welfare State?.

1. Introduction: Gender and Welfare States in East Asia; Sirin Sung and Gillian Pascall
2. Work-family Balance Issues and Policies in Korea: Towards an Egalitarian Regime?; Sirin Sung
3. Rhetoric or Reality? Peripheral Status of Women's Bureaux in the Korean Gender Regime; Sook-Yeon Won
4. Continuity and Change: Comparing Work and Care Reconciliation of Two Generations of Women in Taiwan; Jessie Wu
5. Gender, Social Policy and Older Women with Disabilities in Rural China; Xiaoyuan Shang, Karen R. Fisher and Ping Guo
6. Confucian Welfare: A barrier to the Gender Mainstreaming of Domestic Violence Policy in Hong Kong; Lai Ching Leung
7. Emerging Culture Wars: Backlash Against 'Gender Freedom'; Kimio Ito
8. Prime Ministers' Discourse in Japan's Reforms since the 1980s: Traditionalization of Modernity rather than Confucianism; Emiko Ochiai and Kenichi Johshita
9. Conclusion: Confucianism or Gender Equality?; Gillian Pascall and Sirin Sung

Sook-Yeon Won, Ewha University in Seoul, Korea
Shu-yun Wu (Jessie), National Chi Nan University, Taiwan
Xiaoyuan Shang, University of New South Wales, Australia
Karen Fisher, University of New South Wales, Australia
Guo Ping, China Research Center On Ageing (CRCA), China
Leung Lai Ching, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Kimio ITO, Kyoto University, Japan
Emiko Ochiai, Kyoto University, Japan
Kenichi Johshita, Kyoto University, Japan

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