Northwestern Events Calendar


Gender and the Information Society in Japan

When: Friday, April 28, 2023
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM CT

Where: Kresge Hall, 1515, 1880 Campus Drive , Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Peter Carroll   (847) 491-2753

Group: East Asia Research Forum

Category: Academic


Please join the East Asia Research Forum and the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures as they host Diane Wei Lewis (Washington University, St. Louis) for this talk.

Beginning in the 1960s, discourse on the information society (jōhōka shakai) in Japan predicted the emergence of a home-based workforce with greater autonomy and better work-life balance. In the 1980s, when labor shortages caused tech companies to hire women to work from home, it seemed that the dream of the information society was finally coming true. This talk examines how women technologists represented an appealing new work subjectivity for workers who resented the sacrifices that the binaristic Japanese employment system demanded of men and women. Women programmers in particular embodied the “information society myth”: the fantasy that computerization would remap spatial hierarchies and transform social norms.

Diane Wei Lewis is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at Washington University, St. Louis. Her work examines Japanese cinema and media with an emphasis on histories and theories of labor, consumerism, emotion, and gender and sexuality. 

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