Issues in Post-war Japanese Society 2
- Module Code:
- Year of study:
- Year 1 or Year 2
- Taught in:
- Term 2
The module is designed to offer a critical overview of changes occurring in the late 20th century Japanese culture and society to Year 1 and/or Year 2 undergraduate students. The module will complement and enhance the offerings available in the section, especially in bringing in the contemporary perspective on Japan which is essential for preparing the students for their 3rd year abroad.
No pre-requisites are required though a basic knowledge of Japanese culture would be an advantage. This module is available to Year 1 and/or Year 2 students as an open option on all SOAS degrees.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the module
At the end of the module, the students will be able to demonstrate a clear knowledge about the discourses dominating present-day Japanese culture and society. The module will make use of (Japanese) media in order to familiarise them with self-representations as well as help them to discover how these discourses have entered the Japanese mainstream. While Issues in post-war Japanese society I deals more with the political aspects of life in Japan, this module will look at the cultural side, discuss changes that Japanese society has undergone and make the students think critically about them by incorporating a wide range of sources.
Classroom discussions will encourage the students to develop a critical awareness of present-day Japan and question their own stereotypes and images – which will be underlined by the essay, in which the students will be familiarised with bibliographic methods, taking also into account how sources from the world wide web should be dealt with. Furthermore, in the essay the students will be encouraged to make critical use of a wide range of media, such as books, academic journals and newspapers. The module is essential for anyone planning to further investigate contemporary Japanese culture and society in module of their degree.
This is a one term module taught over 10 weeks with a 2-hour lecture and one hour tutorial per week.
Scope and syllabus
Whereas the module 'Issues in post-war Japanese society I' (term 1) focuses more on the political discourses at work in post-war Japan, this module is designed to look at post-war Japanese (popular) culture and society. Specific topics to be dealt with thus include:
- changes of gender roles
- challenges of an ageing society
- youth culture
- developments in popular culture
Method of assessment
One 2-hour written examination in May/June (60%); one 3,000 word essay due in day1, week 1, term 3 (40%).
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- Craig, Timothy J. (ed.) (2000): Japan Pop! : Inside the World of Japanese Popular Culture. Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe.
- Coulmas, Florian (2007): Population Decline and Ageing in Japan. The Social Consequences. New York: Routledge.
- Harootunian, Harry and Yoda Tomiko (eds.) (2006): Japan after Japan. Social and Cultural Life from the Recessionary 1990s to the Present. Durham: Duke University Press.
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