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Japan in the 21st Century


NB nieuwe eerstejaarsstudenten van de BA Japanstudies hoeven zich niet zelf in te schrijven voor de colleges van dit vak. Zij worden hiervoor ingedeeld

Admission requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this course. Non-major Japanstudies students will also be admitted so long as there is seating available.


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 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, ethnic identities and class inequalities, international migration, disasters and social inequality, among others.

Course objectives

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


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

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.

The final grade is established by determining the weighted average of all elements. In order to pass the course, all elements must receive a passing grade (6 or higher).


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.

Inspection and feedback

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

Reading list

All readings are on reserve in the library and most readings are available digitally in Brightspace. Some readings may be made available in form of a course reader. Details will be announced in the first class.


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte.
Registration Contractonderwijs.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Vrieshof


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.