How Does New AI Technology Reproduce and Contest Patriarchal Norms and Social Reality in Contemporary Japan

Conference: The Asian Undergraduate Research Symposium (AURS2021)
Title: How Does New AI Technology Reproduce and Contest Patriarchal Norms and Social Reality in Contemporary Japan
Stream: History, Anthropology and Archaeology
Presentation Type: Virtual Poster Presentation
Jiatian Li, Soka University, Japan


This presentation shows how new forms of digital capitalism reproduce an old patriarchal hegemonic moral order rooted in reactionary social judgements that standardize homogenous ideals about gender and minority cultures in the process of Japan-making. I show how new robot technology is being used to reproduce long-established gender ideologies that legitimate gender division of labor by appealing to people’s entrenched social expectations. Despite the progress of innovative technology in Japan, robot production has been found to be a product of naturalized gender performance. Furthermore, AI algorithms reflect heterosexual norms of gender division of labor, inserting data with inbuilt biases that amplify people’s perceptions of a homogenous reality. We here see how the old salaryman-housewife model systematically underpins such calculations. Under the development of digital capitalism, it is also now well-documented how minority cultures reinvent themselves into standardized identities, often commodified into easily consumable objects to attract tourists. This is part of wider media messaging that create boundaries between mainstream and minority cultures in ways that necessitates display of authenticity along majority expectations of minority exotic difference. For example, both Japanese Burakumin or Ainu minority status reflect histories of stigmatization and colonialism but who now bear the responsibility to display their “authentic” culture to promote certain values and rights. This paper shows how the reproduction of homogenous gender and minority scripts reflect national narratives that represent domestic power through transforming individual self-identities into parts of a collective national body that demand consumer ability along old colonial and patriarchal norms.

Virtual Presentation

Virtual Poster Presentation


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