Departmental Bulletin Paper Terms of the ikumen Discourse

BIENEK, Tabea  ,  SCHIMKOWSKY  Christoph

(Vol.24)  , pp.91 - 114 , 2016-03-03
In Japan, the term ikumen refers to fathers who proactively participate in childcare. In recent years, the term has experienced a surge in popularity and was picked up by political bodies, private bodies and the media. In this paper, we inquire into newspapers’ depiction of ikumen, looking into the central terms and topics of newspaper reporting on the involved fathers. Based on an analysis of headlines of newspaper articles published between January 2008 and June 2015 with the text mining software KH Coder, this paper serves as an introductory article to the terms and topics that come up when discussing ikumen in Japanese society. We fi nd that newspaper discussions of ikumen touch upon several fields, namely family and childcare, employment, support and initiatives and society and politics. We also identify hints suggesting that ikumen is perceived as an emotional-affective approach to fatherhood.

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