Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Making the personality matter: Leadership and the second wave women's liberation movement in Japan
by Nikaido, Kosuke, Ph.D., The University of Chicago, 2010, 487; 3408662
Abstract (Summary)

The women's liberation movement in Japan presents a series of interesting theoretical challenges to the literature on the sociological study of social movements, for it is a case of a “new” or “identity-oriented” social movement with quite a few visible puzzles and anomalies occurring in a non-Western cultural context. One of the more striking features of the movement is that its dynamics and pattern of mobilization appeared to have been disproportionately influenced by the relatively idiosyncratic and stylistic differences on the part of a few key individual leaders, with different groups within the movement taking highly varied trajectories of development and denouement in spite of the fact that they appeared to be quite similar demographically, politically and ideologically, and in terms of the context they faced.

Such a movement presents considerable problems for the conventional theories on social movements, for they have traditionally not focused on the importance—or lack thereof—of the causal power of leadership style and dynamics as such. So, in this dissertation, I will try to deal with two interrelated questions using the 2nd wave women's liberation movement in Japan as a case study: (1) How do you know that leadership style and quality in fact makes a difference to the dynamic and outcomes of mobilization, and under what context are the effects of leadership more important; and (2) Is it possible to systemically link the leadership style of certain nature or character to the differing outcomes of mobilization at the level of a group or collectivity? More concretely, I will attempt to explicate the reasons why leadership style was in fact the dominant causal force that produced a set of rather differential outcomes for several groups that otherwise appeared to be quite similar within the women's liberation movement in Japan, and develop a ix theoretical model that connects the differences in leadership style to the outcomes of social movement mobilization of varying kinds.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Zhao, Dingxin
Commitee: Clemens, Elisabeth S., Sewell, William H.
School: The University of Chicago
Department: Sociology
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 71/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Womens studies, Social structure
Keywords: Feminism, Japan, Leadership, Mobilization, Personality, Women's movements
Publication Number: 3408662
ISBN: 978-1-124-05092-8
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