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Languages: English
Types: Article
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Throughout Japan, enrolments in junior colleges, previously the higher education destination of choice for nearly 500 000 women a year at their peak in 1990, has plummeted recently to half that number. It is therefore of interest to investigate the quality of experience and post-graduation aspirations of the decreasing numbers of women who have elected to take up the short- term route. This study investigates the mission of the junior college in the 21st century, the quality and status of the courses, the extent to which they prepare women for their career goals, and the value of the exit qualification in the employment market. In an intensive period of fieldwork in a small college on the Tokyo/Yokohama borders in the summer of 2005 the views of students and their tutors were elicited. It was found that, on the whole, high numbers of women were resigned to the gendered roles for which they have been socialized throughout their life course but that a growing minority were resolved to use their junior college degree to open up possibilities for further study and enter an arena where their economic outcomes could be expanded.
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