Political Distrust and Gendered Attitudes: The Japanese State and Women

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Abstract

We explore sources of political trust by examining one's gender role attitudes as they relate to political trust in Japan. We hypothesize that progressive gender role attitudes are associated with political distrust. This political distrust is perhaps caused by relative deprivation which progressive individuals experience, given that gender relations are still traditional in Japan. We further hypothesize that this distrust among women extends to the government itself. We analyze the 2003 Japanese General Social Survey, a national representative survey of Japanese adults. Based on multivariate analyses of 1,807 respondents, we find support for our hypotheses. Our findings suggest that gender issues are salient among progressive individuals, especially among women.

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