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Title: Activity beyond the Home in Old Age: Building a Collective Female Identity in Japanese Karaoke Classrooms
Authors: Tong Koon Fung 
Issue Date: 19-Oct-2019
Citation: Tong Koon Fung (2019-10-19). Activity beyond the Home in Old Age: Building a Collective Female Identity in Japanese Karaoke Classrooms. International Conference: Cultural Industries in Aging Asia. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Japanese public and academic discourse mostly depicts older people as passive, dependent, and in need of care. However, the vivacity of older female regular participants in the many karaoke classrooms around Japan starkly contrasts with such an image. This paper explores how and why karaoke classroom participation enabled the regulars to develop social connections and a collective identity, which are crucial in Japanese conceptualisations of purpose in life, or ikigai (Mathews, 1996). I situate karaoke classroom activities within concepts of ‘lifelong learning’ and ‘serious leisure’, elaborated by Jones and Symon (2001) and Stebbins (2015). Using data obtained from participant-observation of karaoke lessons and interviews with participants conducted from February 2016 to January 2017, I explain how older Japanese women built and maintained social relations through their common karaoke pursuit, in ways departing from their previous roles as mothers and wives within the patriarchal social structure of post-World War II Japan.
Source Title: International Conference: Cultural Industries in Aging Asia
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