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SC Seminar Sociology


Admission requirements

To enroll in the course, students must be enrolled in the Japanese studies program and should ideally have followed BA1 Lecture Japan in the 21st century.


Identity is a popular topic that attracts much attention, but is also a source of many questions. What is an identity? How are identities formed? Do identities matter? How do we choose between multiple identities? In this course, we will explore existing frameworks for understanding the nature of identity, and processes of social differentiation which lead to the formation of identity and difference. We will do so by examining classic statements on the nature of different kind of identities: from class, racial and ethnic, national, gender, sexual to transnational, multi-cultural and postcolonial identities. Readings will combine theoretical readings as well as case studies in Japanese history and society to come to a better understanding of the dynamics of identity and difference in Japanese society.

Course objectives

  1. To develop an understanding of key conceptualizations of identity and difference.

  2. To learn to critically assess processes of identity formation, social differentiation and inequality in Japanese society.

  3. To develop and extend skills in reading and critically assessing academic texts; to write and be able to orally present on the main questions raised by assigned readings; to be able to locate appropriate sources for a research paper, to develop the ability to offer analytical insights and a conclusive assessment of a topic of interest in the research paper.


See timetable.

Mode of instruction


Course Load

  • 5 ects=140 hours

  • contact hours; 4 hours per week=7 weeks = 28 hours

  • Reading: approx. 40 pages per week + assignments = 6 hours x 12 weeks= 72 hours

  • Presentation, paper writing = 40 hours

Assessment method

  • Participation element (attendance, participation, webpostings, and presentation): 40%

  • Analytical element (essay of 1,000 words): 20%

  • Research element (research paper of 2,000-2,500 words): 40%

All elements of the course (participation, analytical element, and research element) must be passed to receive a passing grade for the course. The course grade will be determined based on the weighted average of course elements once all elements have been passed.

There is no ‘resit’ for the participation element. For the papers to be submitted for the analytical element and research element, two deadlines apply. Failure to submit by the second ‘resit’ deadline will result in a reduction of the grade in accordance with program regulations.


Blackboard plays an essential part in this course. All important information about the course, including the syllabus, course requirements, course readings and announcements will be available on the course website. As part of class participation, students will also be required to make postings on the Blackboard website. Blackboard access is therefore essential in order to complete this course.

Reading list

See Blackboard


Registration through uSis. Not registered, means no permission to attend this course. See also the ‘Registrationprocedures 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 via:

Registration Contractonderwijs via:


Dr.A. Ezawa