nightwork - Loangkote 1 Lance Loangkote Prof. Alan Kimla,...

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Loangkote 1 Lance Loangkote Prof. Alan Kimla, T.A. Ms. Jieun Lee Anthropology 2 – Book Review (Nightwork) 3 December 2009 Masculinity through Ritual Rituals are performed everyday. These common activities include brushing one’s teeth to taking out the garbage, or even attending the local supermarket to purchase groceries. In the ethnographical book Nightwork , author Anne Allison identifies her experience of work with the night clubs throughout Tokyo and how they are an integral part of Japanese society. Throughout the piece, Allison describes separate entities of the night life of white collar, middle class men who spend their nights and money on sexual entertainment. The rationale of these hostess clubs is to relieve the men of their stressful days of treacherous work. And although, women have made significant advancements in society, the objectification and deterioration of women working in these hostess clubs has grown accustomed to this notion, and has now integrated itself into a permanent, unchangeable ritual in Japanese culture. Initially, there are several rules and regulations that women in a hostess club must abide by. Allison introduces that, “Four factors, however, are universal: the hostess must be, or must act like, a woman; the hostess must treat customer as superior… [this] service is conducted primarily at the level of conversation” (7-8). Evidently, there is a standard with which the women performing in night clubs are expected to fulfill. The women are trained to think, speak, and act in a way so that the customers feel comfortable in the dark setting. Furthermore, Allison infers that these hostess clubs are mainly intended to enable the men, who are the customers, to “feel like men” (8). The idea of men being portrayed as the more dominant sex epitomizes the
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Loangkote 2 notion of masculinity. That men are stronger and more dominant in a gender based social order. However, as Japanese society continues to accept this process, the concept of male dominance will continue to become socialized in their culture. Furthermore, Allison explains two main objectives of the visiting the hostess club: to get away from work and to have a good time together. (42) Throughout the book, the men feel a sense of relief and relaxation when receiving entertainment and service from these women. The night club allows for these men to forget the tension of work and stimulate their sexual desires. Also, she refers to the white collar workers as sarariiman , which, in Japanese literally means “Salaried man.” She further explains that these sarariiman are stressed out from their long, rigorous work hours. But once they are in a bar or club at the end of the day, they release their internal stress and engage in recreational activities. It is quite understandable for the men and women in Japan to accept the idea that their husbands or fathers are relieving their tension on a nightly basis by enjoying the service of nightclubs. Nevertheless, there are unwritten duties of which a hostess must abide by in order to be
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This note was uploaded on 10/10/2011 for the course ANT 2 taught by Professor Smith during the Fall '07 term at UC Davis.

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nightwork - Loangkote 1 Lance Loangkote Prof. Alan Kimla,...

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