SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Ms Emily Barrass Chapman

BA from University of Cambridge - Oriental Studies, Japanese MA from SOAS - Gender Studies


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Ms Emily Barrass Chapman
Email address:
Thesis title:
Gender and family in postwar Japan
Year of Study:
Year 1
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

My study is a cultural history which explores the Japanese family in the international contexts of the "postwar" and Cold War. Starting in the 1960s I ask why the historiography of  family and of gender in particular in the case of Japan, have operated most comfortably and pervasively within normative and often state-sponsored paradigms. However, it is very often the silent margins which give the normative and often state-directed version of normal, their remarkable sticking power. I use popular media (newspapers, magazines) as well as oral history and ephemera to ask whether scholarly reliance on paradigms such as the salaryman model of masculinity or the ideology of good wife, wise mother are capable of representing families in all their complexity and contingency. Or whether they endorse, among other things, blindness to changes in class structures, the extended family, male family figures and non-normative family structures.