Sociological Forum

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 659–691 | Cite as

Gender and Value Orientations—What’s the Difference!? The Case of Japan and the United States

  • Tania LeveyEmail author
  • Catherine B. Silver
Original Paper

This paper analyzes gendered social identity in Japan and the United States, countries with comparable postindustrial economic systems but distinct cultural traditions. Using national surveys (1995), we find gender differences in value orientations to be neither systematic nor consistent. They often disappeared after controlling for demographic and human-capital variables, though not so often for Japan. Other variables proved more important predictors of values than gender, although in different ways in Japan and the United States. We conclude by reassessing the use of the term gender in social research and the cultural meaning of gender relations by addressing the feminist concerns with issues of gender location.


value orientations social identity gender cross-cultural survey Japan and the United States 



We would like to acknowledge the support of Brooklyn College for giving Catherine Silver release time from teaching and the PSC-CUNY Research Foundation for awarding her a grant (#64682-00-33). We also want to thank Dr. Robert Butler and Dr. Ideo Ibe of International Longevity Center for making the data available. Special thanks to Vered Kraus and Seymour Spilerman for guiding us in this research process and providing input for the statistical analysis; to Marissa Levey and Kirsten Christiansen for their editing suggestions; and to Yoshio Shibata and Akiko Okada Shimizu, graduate students in the Ph.D. Program in Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center, for their willingness to be informants in this research. We finally want to thank the Sociological Forum reviewers for their insightful and persistent methodological, theoretical, and editorial suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social SciencesYork CollegeJamaicaUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyBrooklyn College and the Graduate Center, CUNYBrooklynUSA

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