EAS388H1 Lecture 4: Good Wives, Wise Woman

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East Asian Studies
Lisa Yoneyama

EAS388 Lecture 4 – Good Wives, Wise Women • Maturity in modern world is industrialization but also about normative western world and that was not shared in the beginning of the West • How to think about the past, tradition, what we now say traditional we think is in the past is actually invented • 1930s, you see a post-modern Civil Code values as well as practices prior to the ways in which sexuality, behaviour became regulated by it o Example, the traditional of Asian women under Confucianism, women Chasity was sacred, women had to be monogamous but we see women freely going to relationship with men o With historical information that Robert Smith gives really is the invention that happened in the Civil Code that gives an idea of what women are about in Japan • Modern Myths and Invention o Theorizing family, marriage, motherhood o Theorizing Historical Representation o INVENTION od “tradition” and the “authentic” culture o BATTLES over what constitutes “tradition” and “authenticity” ▪ Of what normative women in Korea and elsewhere o “tradition” and “culture” as highly loaded terms in non-Western context • Modernization becomes more liberating for mothers, instead modernization is actually going backwards • Did the women in the West go through the same passage as Eastern women had to overcome? o The norms of gender were all modern after western o What was normative in the West Anglo-American world becomes another layer in the non-Western colonized world o When elites had to modernize themselves, they had to refer to this new sexual norms that were emerging in the civilized west • Politics of Knowledge o Pierre Bourdieu ▪ “genesis amnesia” • Being a good wife under Confucianism, all women internalize it is actually not true • We forget the origin and when this invasion was invented and for what purpose was this invented • “good wives, wise mothers” is a recreation in the maternity o Michel Foucault: ▪ “people are shown not what they were, but what they must remember having been…if one controls people’s memory, one controls their dynamism” • Japan th o In the middle of 19 century, Japan as we know it today emerged o Before that was a feudal state and became empires o Meiji regime of modern Japan introduced a policy, highly gendered policy o Gendering try to promote citizens if Japan were to be accepted in the hierarchy of race to live up to the west
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