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Focus Lecture 1&2: Sociology: Postwar Japanese Society



In this course, we will explore postwar Japanese society from a sociological perspective. The course provides an introduction to central sociological concepts, such as development, social change and social inequality as well as different ways to study society, collect and analyze data based on lectures and assignments on methodology. Besides introducing to sociological theories and methods, we will also examine major aspects of postwar Japanese society, from the impact of postwar changes in the economy, and the state on different social groups, such as salaried men, women, and ethnic groups to the social consequences of the Heisei recession, and the emergence of new lifestyles in contemporary Japan. The goal of this course is to provide students with a critical understanding of the dynamics of postwar Japanese society, as well as skills to examine Japanese society from a sociological perspective.

Course objectives

  1. To develop a theoretically informed understanding of the key social issues in postwar Japanese society.

  2. To acquire a basic understanding of sociological theory and methods.

  3. To develop and extend skills in reading and critically assessing academic texts on social issues in contemporary Japanese society.


Thursdays 15:00-17:00.

Mode of instruction

Lecture, seminar (hoorcollege, werkcollege).

Assessment method

Participation element (attendance, webpostings, in-class assignments): 20%
Analytical element (review paper of 1,500 words): 40%
Summative element (exam): 40%.


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

Reading List

Titles of course books and/or readers used in the course; indication of where these can be bought and whether or not the materials should be read in advance.


Trough Usis
Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply

Contact information

Dr. A. Ezawa,