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Sociology of Japan


Admission requirements

Students must be MA students enrolled in the Asian studies MA program.


This seminar examines Japanese society from a sociological perspective. In combining readings in classical and contemporary sociological theory with current topics in contemporary Japanese society, the course aims to build students’ disciplinary foundation, and deepen their analytical insights into current issues in Japanese society. Topics will include social inequality and social change, the racial, ethnic, and gender dynamics of contemporary Japanese society, as well as the social consequences and protest resulting from the earthquake and tsunami of 2011.

Course objectives

  • To gain a good understanding of sociological theories and concepts relevant to the study of contemporary Japanese society

  • To become familiar with key topics in Japanese society

  • To be able to apply relevant theories and concepts to the analysis of specific aspects of Japanese society

  • To research, interpret and draw conclusions about specific social phenomena in contemporary Japanese society


The timetable is available on the Asianstudies website

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total course load: 10 ects = 280 hours

  • Seminar attendance: 2 hours x 13 weeks = 26 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: 8 hours x 13 weeks = 104 hours

  • Assignments: 20 hours

  • Position paper and research paper: 130 hours

Assessment method

  • Participation (including attendance, weekly webpostings and presentation): 35%

  • Position paper: 25%

  • Research paper (4,000 words): 40%

All course elements must be passed to receive a passing course grade. The course grade is based on the weighted average of all course elements, all of which must have at least a passing grade.

There are no resits for the participation element. For the position paper and research paper, the possibility of a resit applies.

Graded papers will be returned with feedback. Students may make an appointment to discuss their papers within 30 days of the publication of their paper grade.

Exam Review

Students may request an oral elucidation of the assessment within 30 days after publication of the grade.


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


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. Aya Ezawa