Sociology ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 8-1-2023


This dissertation examines boundaries of citizenship around measures for declining birthrates in contemporary Japan to expand our understanding of boundaries of citizenship. Situating Japan as the pan-Asian postcolonial empire, I compare boundaries of reproductive and maternal citizenship between Japanese and Filipina women via a historical qualitative content analysis of national archives (N=68) and public discourses (N=20) in the 1990s to 2020. Results show how the Japanese state uses controlling images of women tied to the patriarchal family system that favors Japanese men, while privileging Japanese women over Filipina counterparts by dividing them into “ideal/non-ideal” citizens. This legitimizes hierarchical inequalities of women and children. Results suggest that controlling images of women are central to the larger family structure as it allows the postcolonial empire to maintain the status quo for its patriarchal gain. This work contributes to the studies of gender and race/racialization and stresses the importance of intersectional relationality analysis.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Nancy López

Second Committee Member

Dr. Owen Whooley

Third Committee Member

Dr. Amy L. Brandzel

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Lisa Sun-Hee Park

Project Sponsors

UNM Feminist Research Institute, UNM Dean’s Dissertation Scholarship


Reproduction, motherhood, citizenship, intersectionality, Japanese Studies



Document Type


Available for download on Friday, August 01, 2025