AAS Annual Meeting

Interarea/Border-Crossing Session 13

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Session 13: Security Policy in AsiaGender and Modernity I

The home as public sphere:Negotiating public and private spheres by Thai politicians’ wives
Katja Rangsivek, Freiburg University, Germany

The private and public tend to be perceived as distinct spheres with clear boundaries. The home has been declared as private sphere. Thus, it has no impact on the public arena, consisting of both the public sphere and the sphere of public authority. The differentiation of public and private spheres neglects the fact that individuals constantly pass these boundaries. Here it will be discussed if the division of spheres is as universal it is perceived to be. This paper employs the case of Thai politicians’ wives to explore the dynamics of the boundaries between public and private. Thai politicians, their wives, and other relatives have been interviewed. Furthermore, observation has taken place at some of their homes. It has been found that (1) politicians’ wives take over a role that has influence on the political arena and thus the public sphere from within the home and (2) they define and negotiate their homes as private or public on an individual basis. Politians’ wives open their homes to voters or go (in)to the voters’ homes to advance their (husband’s) political base. Thus, the home becomes a public space in which political and social issues are discussed and negotiated. This shows that the private and public are interlinked in the politicians’ home. Boundaries between the spheres are negotiable, permeable and sometimes cease to exist.

Work and life of women’s care workers in Japan
Yoshimichi Yui, Hiroshima University, Japan

After 1990s, globalization and relaxation of regulations in labor market have changed working conditions in Japan. The revision to the Law for dispatch workers and the Law for Equal Employment Opportunity of Men and Women had increase part-time or non-permanent workers. Especially, female work turned to cheep part-time jobs or unstable dispatched jobs. In this ways, feminization in labor market has progressed. And the trend toward service economy need more cheep female part-time workers in service sector. Married women are convenient as flexible workforce in service sector according to proceeding service economy. However it is hard for married women to arrange working, housework and nursing their children. This study tries to analyze the work and life of women’s care workers in order to clarify the feminization of personal service sector. Care service is the most feminized sector in labor market in step with the aging of the population. Most of labor force is women’s part-time worker. That is why this service needs the experience of nursing work and flexible work. Therefore, elderly care services depend on married women. Usually care service is assembled with short segments of part-timers works. Home visiting nursing service and personal care service in facility need specific service time pattern, for example helping with eating. In another case, care service women work in two specific days per week. Though, these flexibilities are adequate for married women. They don’t want to get full-time job, because they think it is difficult to satisfy both of work and housework.

‘Public’ religious roles of Muslim women; Teungku Inong (women ulama) and Majelis Taklim (religious learning circle) in Acehnese Communities
Eka Srimulyani, Independent Scholar, Indonesia

In various works on Islam in Indonesia, the existence of female religious leaders or ulama are rarely uncovered. This is partly due to the paradigm used in these studies, which only concentrate on the formal or official religious public domain. This discriminates an informal public [religious] domain or a space of unofficial, private politics (Bourdieu, 1977; Nelson, 1974) that women used to be part of it. This research will study female ulama, locally known in Aceh as teungku inong, and their unique relations with other women, particularly in the rural setting, through majelis taklim (regular religious meetings) and dayah (traditional educational institutions). In general, the public religious roles of female ulama, which are more private, have been marginalised from mosque-based religious rituals or activities in which men dominate. While the roles and status of the female ulama, who organises regular religious meetings for (mainly) women are socially quite high within the community in terms of religious authority. The voice of female ulama is heard and respected/followed by the majelis taklim participants and to some extent also by the wider community. This is based an ethnographical research carried out in present-day Aceh where shari’a Islam has formally applied since 2002, and where the presence of gender issues increased particularly in the post- conflict and post-tsunami period; these issues have been contested and to some extent even (re) negotiated.

Male Anxieties: Body Hygiene, Misogyny, and Gendered Nationalism in South Korea."
Jieun Chang, University of Southern California, USA

The particular concern of this paper is to unfold the meanings of the peculiar patterns of sexual violence exercised upon women’s bodies during the course of the 1948 incident of state terrorism and civilian massacre on Cheju, South Korea (better known as “4.3” or “Cheju 4.3”), whose formerly denied and silenced history has only just recently become part of the South Korean official history. The violence involved an unusual level of brutality, paranoid anxiety, rage, fear and revulsion toward the specific body parts of women, especially those related to their sexual and reproductive activity – namely their genitals, breasts, pregnant bellies and wombs. The violence, this paper contends, signals male assailants’ (or the state-male’s) bleak fascination with eradicating – or retaliating – the (exaggerated) female sexuality, or the threat it symbolizes for them (the male purity and hardness). The disgusted and callously mutilated and stigmatized (ingrained with social disgrace and infamy) bodies of Cheju/Red women are approached here as the minoritized sites of traumatic intensity where tales untold remain deposited, wordlessly. The paper explores further the political role these grim sexual crimes against the Cheju women were made to play – the ways in which women’s bodies were converted into political resources in engineering hatred and otherness, and in subsequently crafting a rigid, disciplined , non-fluid male national body.