The Concept of “Structure of Feeling” According to R. Williams and the Stratification of Class-oriented Labor Movements in Contemporary Japan: A Case Study on ‘A’ local union in Tokyo

Youjung Jung
The University of Tokyo, Japan

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Ingår i: Current Issues in European Cultural Studies; June 15-17; Norrköping; Sweden 2011

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 62:64, s. 605-613

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Publicerad: 2011-11-22

ISBN: 978-91-7519-993-1

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


This research attempts to rethink the possibilities lying in the labor movements of contemporary Japan from the 1980s onward within the theoretical framework of the British cultural studies. The concept of “structure of feeling” according to Williams is reliable while attempting to account for the complexity of labor movements in contemporary Japan. Based on the above-mentioned theoretical approaches; within historical changes expressible through binaries such as “industrial society /working class; welfare state/corporate-oriented unions; neoliberalism/somewhat hardly definable agents ”; the present study focuses on “the residual” class-oriented labor unions in the hegemonic processes of Japanese labor movements as witnessed in “emergent” gender-oriented labor movements; “residual” class-oriented labor unions; and “dominant” corporate-oriented unions. Making use of the concept of “structure of feeling”; the present study examines the structure; the functions; and the stratifications of “A” local union based in Tokyo. (a)The main office and the NPO; (b) “a” branch; a small and midsized corporate-oriented union established in 1978; and (c) “b” branch born in 2007; a union whose members are registered temporary tour conductors have been the object of our investigations. The purpose of the present study is precisely to understand the dynamic interrelation existing between the three sections of “A” local union where antagonism and the “all equal workers” philosophy seem to coexist.


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