NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ881015
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
ISSN: ISSN-1357-3322
Playing Baseball/Playing "House": The Reproduction and Naturalization of "Separate Spheres" in Japanese High School Baseball
Blackwood, Thomas
Sport, Education and Society, v15 n1 p83-101 Feb 2010
Although Japanese schools are generally considered to be one of the most gender-equitable social institutions in Japan, they play an important role in helping to reproduce and naturalize the notion of sex-based separate spheres, through endorsing the maintenance of such separate spheres in extracurricular sports clubs, such as baseball, where female student "managers" act as surrogate mothers to the male team members: cooking, cleaning and engaging in other support work. Furthermore, the Japan High School Baseball Federation (JHBF)'s rule prohibiting female teammates from participating in official games (due to the "danger" of injury to smaller, weaker females) discourages more athletically capable females from joining baseball teams in the first place, so that female students who do join high school baseball teams as players tend to be less likely to be athletically competitive. This both reinforces the image of smaller, weaker females and justifies the JHBF's policy, further strengthening the notion of the appropriateness of separate spheres. Moreover, the mass media encourage this, both by applauding the efforts of the female managers, and by giving details on the physiques of female teammates, thus subtly supporting the argument that females cannot and should not compete with males in baseball (or, by implication, in other male-dominated fields). Thus, these practices help to normalize the idea of sex-based separate spheres at a very real experiential level for high school students, as well as at a symbolic/ideological level for society as a whole. (Contains 1 figure and 9 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan