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Social Change and Gendered Gift-Giving Rituals: A Historical Analysis of Valentine’s Day in Japan

Social Change and Gendered Gift-Giving Rituals: A Historical Analysis of Valentine’s Day in Japan Valentine’s Day is a culturally hybridized and popularly celebrated consumption ritual in Japan. We examine its historical transformation based on a visual and textual analysis of advertisements in print media over fifty years. Changes in the meanings, functions, and structure of gift-giving rituals correspond to changes in the national economy, social values, consumer ideology, and gender roles and power relationships in Japanese society. There are five major findings: one, the importance of food—chocolate—in the creolization process of the consumer ritual; two, the persistent gender asymmetric nature of the Valentines consumer holiday; three, the ritual’s structural aspects and changes over the time; four, the importance of confession in the ritual process; and five, the transformation of its role from a simple instrument of love and a way to elevate a relationship to a rite to reconfirm gender identity. This study supplements the very limited literature on Japanese gift-giving rituals. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Macromarketing SAGE

Social Change and Gendered Gift-Giving Rituals: A Historical Analysis of Valentine’s Day in Japan

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References (82)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2011
ISSN
0276-1467
eISSN
1552-6534
DOI
10.1177/0276146710375831
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Valentine’s Day is a culturally hybridized and popularly celebrated consumption ritual in Japan. We examine its historical transformation based on a visual and textual analysis of advertisements in print media over fifty years. Changes in the meanings, functions, and structure of gift-giving rituals correspond to changes in the national economy, social values, consumer ideology, and gender roles and power relationships in Japanese society. There are five major findings: one, the importance of food—chocolate—in the creolization process of the consumer ritual; two, the persistent gender asymmetric nature of the Valentines consumer holiday; three, the ritual’s structural aspects and changes over the time; four, the importance of confession in the ritual process; and five, the transformation of its role from a simple instrument of love and a way to elevate a relationship to a rite to reconfirm gender identity. This study supplements the very limited literature on Japanese gift-giving rituals.

Journal

Journal of MacromarketingSAGE

Published: Mar 1, 2011

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