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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 normally have followed BA1 Lecture Japan in the 21st century.


Post-war Japan has often been termed a “corporate-centered society”. Lifetime employment at major firms long provided social status, security, and identity to men not women. Much has changed since the turn of the century. University graduates, male and female, increasingly opt out of a corporate career or never even enter the labor market. What does it mean to be a “salaryman” in Japan nowadays? How do young women and men fit into the hyper masculine ideal worker image? How do firms respond to the work-life expectations of the Japanese youth? In this course we will explore basic concepts and link recent changes in employment patterns and structures to social phenomena like the increase of young men and women without the desire to get married or raise families, “freeters”, and NEETs (not employed, in education or training). During block 4, students will be asked to complete a number of research assignments while residing in Japan, which will form the basis for their research paper.

Course objectives

  1. To develop an understanding of key theoretical approaches to gender and employment opportunities and their implications for recent changes in work-life attitudes and choices of university educated men and women.

  2. To learn to critically assess persistent gender dimensions in Japanese employment structures and practices.

  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.

  4. To be able to locate appropriate Japanese sources and materials in Japan, and 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; 3 hours x 7 weeks = 21 hours

  • Reading: approx. 60 pages per week + assignments = 9 hours x 7 weeks= 63 hours

  • Presentation and analytical element = 20 hours

  • Research paper and fieldwork assignments: 36 hours

Assessment method

  • Participation element (attendance, participation, webpostings, fieldwork assignments 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.

Students will receive written feedback on their papers and may make an appointment to further discuss their papers within 30 days after their graded papers have been returned.


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. For more information, go to Blackboard

Reading list

See Blackboard


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Y. Beekman