University of California, Riverside

UCR Newsroom

Sociologist to Speak to United Nations

UC Riverside Sociologist To Speak at United Nations General Assembly

Professor Masako Ishii-Kuntz Studies Japanese Fatherhood

(December 3, 2004)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Dec. 3, 2004) -- UC Riverside Sociologist Masako Ishii-Kuntz will be part of a panel discussion at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Monday, Dec. 6, to commemorate the 10th Annual “International Year of the Family.”

Professor Ishii-Kuntz studies gender dynamics in families and in the workplace, with a particular emphasis on Japanese fathers’ involvement in housework and childcare and its impact on children. She has completed cross-national research on the impact of economic recession on children and families in contemporary Japanese society.

“The major part of my Japanese fatherhood research involves my own participation in Ikujiren (Men and Women for Child Care Hours Network), an advocacy group for shared parenting and father’s child care involvement,” she said. “This group was one of the driving forces for the 1992 revision of the Japanese Child Care Leave Law which allowed, for the first time, men to take child care leave and hours from work.”

She said her panel is scheduled after a plenary meeting of the General Assembly. Other panelists include academics and staff members of the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) as well as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

This is the first time she has been invited to speak in front of the United Nations. She said Marilyn Bensman, who represents the National Council on Family Relations at the United Nations, recommended her.

Prof. Ishii-Kuntz arrived at UC Riverside in 1987. Between 1995 and 1999, she served as the Director of the Tokyo Study Center for the UC’s Education Abroad Program. During her tenure as director, she was a Fellow of the Institute of Asian Cultural Studies at the International Christian University in Tokyo and a visiting research professor at the Tokyo Metropolitan University.

She has been published in the Journal of Marriage and the Family, Sex Roles, Journal of Family Issues, and Family Relations, among many other journals. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Sociology from Washington State University.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Media Relations
900 University Avenue
1156 Hinderaker Hall
Riverside, CA 92521

Tel: (951) 827-6397 (951) UCR-NEWS
Fax: (951) 827-5008

Related Links