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A stunning portrait of diversity?: Gender, race, and nation in Miss Universe Japan 2015
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, Gender Studies.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to study how gender, race, and nation are represented in Miss Universe Japan 2015. I investigate how the top five participants are represented in relation to Japanese ideal femininity and what these representations contribute to. Furthermore, I examine how global ideals have impacted the outcome of the pageant. The material consists of recordings of the Miss Universe Japan 2015 pageant, which is available on YouTube. The material is analyzed using a context focused textual analysis. Stuart Hall’s theories of representation are used to understand how representations work. Judith Butler’s theory of performative gender and Floya Anthias’ and Nira Yuval-Davies’ theories of how gender relates to nation are used to understand how the construction of the nation intersects with the construction of gender. Michael Billig’s theory of banal nationalism is used to illustrate that beauty pageants are nationalistic practices. Lastly, theories of whiteness, both in the West and Japan, are applied to understand how race and national values interact. The top five participants in Miss Universe Japan 2015 are analyzed one by one and their representations are contrasted to the ideals of the Japanese woman. Moreover, the impact of global ideals on the pageant is discussed. I find that the representation of the top five participants both reproduces and challenges the ideal femininity in Japan, thus widening the limits for the Japanese womanhood. On the other hand, these challenges, and also the reproductions, largely follow global ideals, which leads to an essentialization of global beauty.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 53
Keywords [en]
Miss Universe Japan, Ariana Miyamoto, Japanese femininity, Beauty pageants, Japan, Whiteness, Nationalism, Race, Gender
National Category
Cultural Studies Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-158561OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-158561DiVA, id: diva2:1237463
Presentation
2017-05-31, 10:00 (Swedish)
Supervisors
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Available from: 2018-08-09 Created: 2018-08-08 Last updated: 2018-08-09Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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