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blinkin'ek

Off topic - Furita?

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Can anyone here explain to me the difference between "furita" and part-timer? No one I know seems to explain it to me well.....

 

Thanks

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As I understand it, a furita has made a career out of part-time work in the pursuit of some higher goal such as snowboarding, whereas a part-timer is simply doing part time work for want of anything better.

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I think the term "furiita" has come about due to a shift in the demographics of uncontracted work. Traditionally entering a company has been important in terms of social status and appearances, but with the breakdown of the lifetime employment system, numerous high-profile bankrupcies, reduced employment opportunities, increased opportunites for travel, X generation angst, etc., a lot of young educated people who would normally have entered a firm are not doing so. Both "part-timers" and "friitas" in Japan can work what are essentially full-time hours, so I suppose what differentiates them from other employees is the lack of a proper full-time contract. In the case of friitas, this means they have no obligation to stick around if they want to go travelling etc., making them "free". Over the years, I've often heard people say that they want to leave their job but that they can't (due to a sense of obligation, not an contractual bind), so that in some senses it's a positive development. However, the proper contract=status idea is still very strong, so that the term "friita" has negative connotations, especially among older people. If you're not careful, I imagine you could upset some people by referring to them or people close to them as friitas in front of the wrong people.

 

A married woman working part-time would never be a "friita" because there is no social obligation for her to work full-time in a "proper" job. No negative connotations for "part-time" btw.

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Aren't there a lot of career furitas who wish they weren't - but have no choice in the matter?

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