Contesting and advocating gender ideologies

An analysis of sarariman (salaried men) characters’ hegemonic masculinities in a Japanese TV drama


  • Junko Saito Temple University



hegemonic masculinity, gender ideology, stance, sararīman, media


Previous scholars have identified sarariman (salaried men), who prioritise work over family, as the ideal of hegemonic masculinity in Japan. This study focuses on sarariman characters’ language use in the workplace as depicted in the 2015 Japanese TV drama Age Harassment. Employing the concepts of stance and hegemonic masculinities, the study demonstrates that, in this mediatised representation, the sarariman characters draw on diverse gender ideologies to display masculine identities. Using online commentary, the study also explores audience members’ responses to the drama’s depiction of masculinities. The study’s analysis of these two types of data suggests that despite increasing social acceptance of more diverse masculinities, the stereotypical sarariman remains to some extent the hegemonic ideal in contemporary Japan.

Author Biography

Junko Saito, Temple University

Junko Saito is an associate professor of Japanese at Temple University, Japan. Her research interest areas include sociolinguistics, pragmatics and discourse analysis. She has recently contributed chapters to The Routledge Handbook of Language in the Workplace (2017, co-authored with Haruko M. Cook) and Japanese at Work: Politeness, Power and Personae in Japanese Workplace Discourse (2018).


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How to Cite

Saito, J. (2020). Contesting and advocating gender ideologies: An analysis of sarariman (salaried men) characters’ hegemonic masculinities in a Japanese TV drama. Gender and Language, 14(3), 286–304.

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