Changing Expectations: Marital Happiness in Japan


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Research Program Brown Bag Seminar

When: May 15 2007 (All day)
Where: Burns Hall, Room 3012

Changing Expectations: Marital Happiness in Japan

Minja Kim Choe

Senior Fellow, East-West Center

May 15, 2007  Noon-1:00 pm

John A. Burns Hall, Room 3012

Japanese marriage has traditionally been an ascribed and necessary status, and there was little point to evaluate one's marriage. Many couples were indeed happy or unhappy, but in general "so-so" was good enough. In recent years, however, the Japanese family system is undergoing major changes associated with increasing freedom of choice, including decisions to delay marriage and childbearing, to never marry or have children, or to divorce.

Analyses based on data from two surveys of nationally representative samples of adult men and women in 1994 and 2000 document movement away from "so-so" category of the response to the question "how happy is your marriage?" reported by currently married men and women.

The presentation includes changes in the patterns of reported happiness of their marriage by women and men and the variables associated with reported happiness. The patterns of association will be discussed in terms of the interplay of micro and macro forces in social change.

This study is a part of an on-going research project by Dr. Choe with Drs. Ronald Rindfuss at the East-West Center, Noriko Tsuya at Keio University, and Larry Bumpass at the University of Wisconsin, examining various aspects of changes in family behavior in Japan as well as other Asian countries and the U.S.

Minja Kim Choe is a Senior Fellow of the Research Program at the East-West Center and an affiliate graduate faculty in the Population Studies Program at the University of Hawaii.Her recent research activities include study of marriage and fertility behavior in Japan, South Korea, and China and publications on these topics.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Laura Moriyama
Phone: 808-944-7444