<b>Norway-Japan: Bridging Research and Education in Gender Equality and Diversity</b>

Norway-Japan: Bridging Research and Education in Gender Equality and Diversity

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Collage of Cherry tree blossoming and another tree covered in snow.

About the project - frontpage

Norway-Japan: Bridging Research and Education in Gender Equality and Diversity (NJ_BREGED) is a three-year research and teaching collaboration between the Center for Gender Research (CGR) at Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture at NTNU (Norway) and the Institute for Gender Studies (IGS) at Ochanomizu University (Tokyo, Japan) in the fields of gender equality and diversity.

The project explores to what extent and in which ways we can envisage and/or problematize the ‘export’ of the Norwegian dual earner/dual career model of gender equality to a national context with differing political systems and culture. It asks how the political ideal of gender equality relates to other axes of difference, such as social class, ethnicity/race, sexuality and age within and across the Japanese and Norwegian national contexts. The research questions will be addressed through the mutual exchange of both scientific staff and students.

Gender equality and the construction of a more inclusive society have been expressed as distinct political goals for both Norway and Japan. At the same time, national politics, cultural sentiments and economic developments have made the forms and contents of gender equality politics different for the two nations. NJ_BREGED’s aim is to generate comparative global research that will serve to cultivate new perspectives within Scandinavian research by revealing alternative pathways, models and cultural contexts. 

NJ_BREGED is funded by INTPART, The Research Council of Norway (2019-2022).

Activities - Frontpage

Activities


What can Norway and Japan learn from each other when gender research and teaching take on a global perspective?

INTPART Seminar, 17-20 September 2019

by Guro Korsnes Kristensen and Jennifer Branlat

The third week of September marked the first of three yearly teaching and research seminars in the project., a collaboration between the Center for Gender Research at NTNU and the Center for Gender Studies at Ochanomizu University, a leading women’s university in Tokyo. The project’s primary aim is to develop comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives on gender equality in the two national contexts characterized by differing political systems, culture and prevailing social attitudes toward gender.

Gender research in a comparative global perspective

The seminar week was bookended on both sides by research exchanges between Ochanomizu University and NTNU. This past summer three NTNU students pursuing M.A. degrees in Gender Equality and Diversity participated in Ochanomizu’s summer program on gender issues in an Asian context while more recently, two graduate students from Ochanomizu travelled to Norway to carry out comparative research.

Domestic violence: a comparative case study

Yoriko Shimokawa, originally a domestic violence case worker and currently working as a public psychologist pursuing a Master’s degree in Gender Studies, was able to make contact with researchers, doctors, social workers and advocates at different local locations in Trondheim: Barnehuset, Kvinnebarnsenteret, the Trauma Center, an outpatient clinic, and women’s shelter. In addition to finishing her M.A. degree, Shimokawa hopes to develop and implement a risk assessment tool to address domestic violence in Japan, as well as strengthen the victim support system to facilitate recovery. It’s difficult, says Shimokawa, to directly translate elements from one national context to another because of the difference in population size, but she believes that there is much room for mutual inspiration concerning the outreach system that helps palliate victim isolation, a social problem in both countries.

Gender balance in early childhood education

Kozue Matsuda, a Ph.D. student and former kindergarten teacher, conducted observations in several kindergartens in the Trondheim area to examine gender balance among teachers involved in early childhood education and care. To this end, she conducted interviews with both teachers and kindergarten directors to understand more about how to increase the recruitment of male teachers in early childhood education.

Teaching and research go hand-in-hand

The research seminar was opened with an interdisciplinary workshop on women’s health and reproduction, which brought together gender researchers from KULT, sociology, health professionals, and reproductive specialists. During the workshop, participants discussed the politics and cultural attitudes towards gamete donor anonymity in Norway and Japan. Following the workshop, the project group of fifteen researchers from Ochanomizu University and the Center for Gender Research at NTNU examined common research interests related to women’s health and reproduction, domestic labor migration, pedagogy, gender quotas, gender balance in higher education drawing from the findings of the Balanse project and from a budding project at Ochanomizu on diversity in higher education. Gender and sports also emerged as a relevant topic given the Japanese societal focus on the Olympic games to be held in Tokyo in 2020.

NTNU M.A. students in Gender Equality and Diversity also had the opportunity to sit down with Ochanomizu faculty and discuss opportunities for joint supervision on their theses.

Rare combination of research and teaching

Guro Korsnes Kristensen and Jennifer Branlat, the INTPART project’s leaders, believe that the INTPART program presents a rare opportunity to combine research and teaching in a visionary space: “It’s fantastic to see what happens when researcher-educators have the opportunity to sit together and discuss the future of teaching in the field,” they report. “The Center for Gender Research at KULT has strong history of student-centered and student-active learning, and the collaboration with Ochanomizu University allows us to learn from a country with strong system of women’s universities committed to women’s (continuing) education and leadership training.”

The next INTPART seminar will be held in Tokyo in April 2020.

27 July-9 August 2019: Summer Program in Japanese Culture & Society

Three of KULT’s M.A students in Gender Equality and Diversity will travel to Tokyo to participate in Ochanomizu University’s summer program entitled ‘Japanese Culture & Society’. In addition to the summer program, the students will carry out research in connection with their M.A. theses and participate in a research presentation session in the Gender Studies Fieldwork Methodology course.

12 June 2010: INTPART Conference: «Hvordan skape bærekraftige partnerskap mellom institusjoner?», Universitetet i Oslo

6 February 2019: Norway-Japan Academic Network Seminar in Oslo

Group of researchers

Guro Korsnes Kristensen and Jennifer Branlat travelled to Oslo to participate in the Norway-Japan Academic Network Seminar co-organized by the Research Council of Norway and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). The career talks, presentations, and network building activities targeted researchers interested in building a Norway-Japan reseacher community.

WP leaders

Work package leaders


Work Package 1: Project management

Guro Korsnes Kristensen (Professor, NTNU)

Masako Ishii-Kuntz (Professor & Director of the Institute for Gender Studies, Ochanomizu University)

Kumi Yoshihara (Project Research Fellow, Ochanomizu University)

Jennifer Branlat (Postdoctoral fellow, NTNU)

Work Package 2: Mobility

Guro Korsnes Kristensen (Professor, NTNU)

Ki-young Shin (Associate Professor, Ochanomizu University)

Kumi Yoshihara (Project Research Fellow, Ochanomizu University)

Jennifer Branlat (Postdoctoral fellow, NTNU)

Derek Matsuda (Associate Fellow, Ochanomizu University)

Work Package 3: Research & Ph.D. co-supervision

Masako Ishii-Kuntz (Professor & Director of the Institute for Gender Studies, Ochanomizu University)

Siri Øyslebø Sørensen (Associate Professor & Head of Center for Gender Research, NTNU)

Ryoko Kodama (Professor, Ochanomizu University)

Ki-young Shin (Associate Professor, Ochanomizu University)

Work Package 4: Joint curricular development

Guro Korsnes Kristensen (Professor, NTNU)

Masako Ishii-Kuntz (Professor & Director of the Institute for Gender Studies, Ochanomizu University)

Ryoko Kodama (Professor, Ochanomizu University)

Ki-young Shin (Associate Professor, Ochanomizu University)

Work Package 5: Joint publication & annual workshop

Priscilla Ringrose (Professor, NTNU)

Masako Ishii-Kuntz (Professor & Director of the Institute for Gender Studies, Ochanomizu University)

Fumie Ohashi (Associate Professor, Ochanomizu University)

Yukari Semba (Project Research Fellow, Ochanomizu University)

Junko Sano (Project Lecturer, Ochanomizu University)

Work Package 6: Dissemination & seminars

Masako Ishii-Kuntz (Professor & Director of the Institute for Gender Studies, Ochanomizu University)

Jennifer Branlat (Postdoctoral fellow, NTNU)

Fumie Ohashi (Associate Professor, Ochanomizu University)

Yukari Semba (Project Research Fellow, Ochanomizu University)

Junko Sano (Project Lecturer, Ochanomizu University)