nl en

Japan in the 21st Century: Sociological Perspectives


Admission requirements

There are no entry requirements for this course.


This course introduces to Japanese society from a sociological perspective. A sociological
approach not only attempts to describe major aspects of a society, but aims to understand and
explain them. Our goal therefore is to become acquainted with major topics in contemporary
Japanese society, while at the same time also acquiring tools for critically analyzing specific
social phenomena. Topics will include gender aspects of work and family life and the long
recession, ethnic identities and class inequalities, as well as the 2011 earthquake and tsunami
and its aftermath, among others.

Course objectives

  1. To develop a good understanding of central aspects of, and key social issues in contemporary Japanese society.
    1. To acquire an understanding of and be able to explain central sociological concepts relevant to the study of Japanese society.
    2. To learn how to read academic literature, identify and explain key arguments, and develop the ability to synthesize assigned reading materials.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Midterm exam 40%
Final exam 45%
Assignments 15%


All partial elements (both exams and assignments) of the course must be passed to receive a
passing grade for the course. The course grade will be based on the weighted average of all
course elements, with the condition that all partial elements must have been completed
successfully to receive a passing grade.


Resits for both, the midterm and final exam will take place during the resit period in January.
Students who have failed one of the two exams only need to complete a resit for the exam they
failed. Students who failed both exams will need to retake both exams.

Exam review

Students may make an individual appointment with the instructor within 30 days of the announcement of the exam grades in order to view their exam.

This course is an ‘aanvullende eis’, in other words, a required element of the BA Japanstudies. Students enrolled in the BA Japanstudies program must pass this course in order to proceed to the second year of their studies.

Reading list

Information about all readings is available on’ Brightspace.


Registration through uSis. Not registered, means no permission to attend this course. See also the ‘Registration procedures for classes and examinations’ for registration deadlines and more information on how to register.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte zie link

Registration Contractonderwijs zie link


Dr.A. Ezawa


All important information about the course, including the syllabus, course requirements, and
information about readings and announcements will be available on the course website on
Brightspace. Access to Brightspace is essential in order to complete this course.