- 教育社会学研究 (ISSN:03873145)
- vol.52, pp.157-177, 1993
It has been pointed out that, in both Japanese and Western research to date, gender has been largely left unexamined. In most studies of subcultures, girls are either invisible, peripheral, or stereotyped. More importantly, these studies have not considered the significance of gender. The influences of class and academic achievement can not be studied separately from the school culture as a whole. Gender is an important influence on development and behavior that is both intricately tied to achievement and complicates the influence of class background. We need to suggest ways in which gender is constructed within school cultures. In this paper, I will refer to subcultures studied through a gender framework as "gendered subcultures". Studies on gendered subcultures examine their organization and functioning, and also their influences on the formation of gender identity and the persistence of gendered culture. In my ethnographic research at a girls' high school, I found that students described themselves as differentiated into 4 groups : a "study group", an "otakkee (a Japanese word which means mania for comics, drama, fortune telling, or other unusual hobbies) group", an "ordinary group" and a "yankee group" (students who exhibit the most anti-school feelings). These groups differ, for example, in the way they accommodate or resist school rules, the way they wear their uniforms, the way they spend their time outside school, the content of their conversations, their degree of commitment to school work, and sex role behaviors and career plans. Students in the academic groups dress according to school rules, for example, wearing the required skirt length. Girls in the yankee groups remade their unifofms, lowering their necklines and shortening their skirts. More importantly, they also criticized each other's ways of demonstrating femininity. Students in the yankee groups criticized students in the academic groups for being snots and not pretty or attractive to boys, while yankee group students were criticized even more bitterly for being sexy and gaudy. These differences, unlike those observed in previous studies of subcultures, can be clearly seen as closely connected to gender construction. And a particular gender is tied to a particular subculture. Within the school, yankee group students are in a weak position not only because they are generally academically 'failing' students but also because the school excludes this kind of femininity. It is comfirmed that there is a criterion of appropriate feminine behavior as well as of academic achivement. Moreover, this criterion is exactly the same as that of social reputation. Thus, girls in the yankee groups are excluded twice.