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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Andrea G. Arai
SISEA 475
Seattle Campus

Japanese Society

Discusses rapidly changing Japanese society and history of its unique aspects. Readings and lectures in sociology, anthropology, economics, and politics; emphasis on Japanese search for cultural identity and prevalent interpretations of Japanese society and behavior. Recommended: SISEA 242

Class description

The course focuses on the social transformations of the postWWII period of the economic miracle through the recession of the 1990s and the emerging social forms of the present. One of the main themes of the course will be changing notions of (and conflicts over) identity and difference. We will be exploring these notions and struggles through readings, films, speakers, lecture, discussion and individual and group projects on: education and youth, the family, work, technology and consumer society, gender roles, crime and security, popular culture and militarization.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lecture and discussion Use of online discussion board in between class sessions to further discussion and research

Recommended preparation

Please refer to the suggested requirements in the official description. This is not an introductory course. Students will be expected to have some background in one or more of the following: Japan Studies, history, anthropology or sociology. Those who do not, but are very motivated and prepared to do the work on an individual basis to catch up, should talk to the instructor following the first session.

Class assignments and grading

Weekly response writing assignments posted to our online discussion board. Small group presentations on a reading of choice Midterm and Final Research Project *The readings and concepts build on each other, so preparation for class sessions is very important. How to prepare will be discussed on the first day and described in detail on the syllabus.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Andrea G. Arai
Date: 12/23/2007