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Course NameJapanese Globalization in Comparative Context
InstructorCleveland, Kyle
MajorGeneral Studies
Course goalsThis course is designed to equip you to assess public discourse related to contemporary social and political issues in Japan and to understand Japan's place in the world as an affluent country that has developed trans-global markets and relations. One of the central goals for the class is to enable students to assess Japanese cultural practices, values and ideologies as they relate to international norms and human rights protocols. The course is to enable you to think critically and analytically by being able to identify underlying assumptions and ideologies inscribed in mass media representations of contemporary Japanese society. You will be expected to learn the substantive content of particular issues, and to be able to understand how these issues are historically and culturally contextualized, in order to develop a comparative framework of analysis.
Course outlineJapanese Globalization in Comparative Context is a special topics course that examines how Japan is influencing cultural trends abroad and responding to foreign influences in politics, mass media, consumerism and youth and popular culture. The course compares how Japan and Western culture interface in globalization of culture in popular culture and how international norms and expectations influence political issues related to contemporary social change in areas such as gender roles, attitudes toward youth, foreigners, ethnic minorities and crime. Additional topics will include Japanese nationalism, the "soft power" politics of youth and popular culture, economic stratification in the labor market, the profound effect that the 3.11 disasters have brought to Japan, and the social and psychological impact of rapid social change in this uniquely post? modern society.
Evaluation Scale and PoliciesGrades will be based upon a two short exams and a final paper. The short exams will cover assigned materials up to the time of the exam (there are two such exams - the last one is not comprehensive, but will address material covered since the last exam). These exams will take one-half of a class period and will be multiple-choice format. The final exam will be a research paper that will be due at the end of the term. Grades will be calculated as follows: Short Exams: 40% (20%/exam x 2) Final Paper: 60% Extra Credit The extra credit assignments for this class will influence borderline grades and may be a means of substituting for a missed or failed short quiz. Should you attend a designated extra credit activity, you are required to submit a 3 page summary by the beginning of the next class period following the event. Attendance Attendance is essential for this course, and will influence final grades. Regular attendance is a measure of your commitment to the class, and you will be allowed no more than 3 absences without penalty. Attendance for class projects, exams and for days in which guest lecturers visit is mandatory. Failure to attend class in which a graded assignment is due will result in an automatic "F" for the assignment. In order to receive permission for missing a class in which a graded assignment is due without penalty, students are required to supply official documentation (a doctor's note) that verifies a legitimate reason for the absence.
PrerequisitesThis course is open to all students who meet the academic requirements for participation. Any student who has a need for accommodation based on the impact of a disability should inform the instructor (within the first week of class) and confirm with the YCU administrative office.
Texts, materials, and suppliesMost of the materials for this course will be available as PDF files or accessible online. PDF formatted copies of assigned materials will be emailed to students prior to their assigned date.
RemarkPlagiarism Your written assignments should reflect individual thought and your ability to integrate course materials and represent your ideas with originality and in your own voice. It is important that you abide by university policy which regulates the appropriate usage of source materials. Plagiarism may result in failing grades, and pending administrative review, removal from the course. CONFIDENTIALITY Video Recording of this class is NOT permitted. Audio recording is only allowed with advanced notice and explicit permission from the instructor. If you have a disability that requires you to record the class, please speak to me as soon as possible to discuss any reasonable accommodation. Audio recording of this class is permitted for personal use ONLY. Broadcast, dissemination or transmission of any recording in any form, or any class materials (notes, Powerpoint) is strictly forbidden, and may result in disciplinary action. Note that the PowerPoint presentations used in this class are not available for public distribution and will not be made available outside the class (that is, they are only used in-class for lectures). Students should take notes in lieu of having an outlined handed to them. The content of course lectures are intellectual property that is not to be distributed outside the confines of this specific class. 前提科目:Practical English
Course Schedule/PlanCourse Organization

Week 1: Social Networks

Course outline and expectations

Christakis, Nicholas, & Fowler, J. H. (2009). Connected: The surprising power of our social networks and how they shape our lives. Hachette Digital, Inc.

Gladwell, Malcolm (2010, October 4). Small Change: Why the Revolution will not be Tweeted. The New Yorker. Available online:

Week 2: Topic: Youth Culture, Mass Media and "Cool Japan"

McGray, D. (2002). Japan's Gross National Cool. Foreign Policy, 130 (May/June): 44-54.

Gladwell, Malcolm (1997, March 17). The Coolhunt. The New Yorker: Cond? Nast.

Film: Merchants of Cool (2001) (DVD)/ Available online: PBS Documentary: The Coolhunt

Week 3: Topic: Globalization and Japanese Popular Culture

Leheny, D. (2006). A Narrow Place to Cross Swords: Soft power and the Politics of Japanese Popular Culture in East Asia. Beyond Japan: the dynamics of East Asian regionalism, 211-233.

Week 4: Topic: Japanese Nationalism ? Whaling, Animals Rights and Cross-cultural Norms

Kalland, Arne (2004). "Japanese Perceptions of Whales and Dolphins," In Wildlife in Asia: Cultural Perspectives. London: RoutledgeCurzon.

Foster Wallace, David (August, 2004). "Consider the Lobster," In Gourmet magazine.
Accessible online:

Film: "The Cove," directed by Louie Psihoyos

Week 5: Topic: Japanese Political Nationalism

Nelson, John (2003). "Social Memory as Ritual Practice: Commemorating Spirits of the Military Dead at Yasukuni Jinja Shrine," In Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 62, No.2, Pp. 445 ? 467.

Film: "Spirits of the State" directed by John Nelson

Week 6: Topic: Crime, Deviance and Social Control

Shibuichi, Daiki (2007). "The 'Uyoku Ronin Do': Assessing the Lifestyles and Values of Japan's Contemporary Right Wing Radical Activists," in Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies, Discussion Paper 6.

Lintner, Bertril. "Dark Masters of Kabuki," ln Blood Brothers: The Criminal Underworld of Asia.

Hill, Peter (2004). The Changing Face of the Yakuza. Global Crime, Vol. 6, No. 1, 97-116.

Week 7: Crime, Deviance and Social Control II

Shipper, Apichai (2005). Criminals or Victims?: The Politics of Illegal Foreigners in Japan. Journal of Japanese Studies Vol. 31, No. 2, Pp. 299? 328.

Roth, Joshua Isaiah (2005). "Political and Cultural Perspectives on ‘Insider' Minorities," In A Companion to the Anthropology of Japan, edited by Jennifer Robertson. Blackwell Publishing, Ltd.

Week 8: Race/Ethnicity in Japan & Out-of-Category Minorities

Cleveland, Kyle (2014). "Hiding in Plain Sight: Minority Issues in Japan," In Critical Issues in Contemporary Japan, edited by Jeff Kingston. Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group.

Week 9: Topic: Labor and Identity

Kelly, William and Merry White (2006). "Students, Slackers, Singles, Seniors, and Strangers: Transforming a Family-Nation," in Beyond Japan: The Dynamics of East Asian Regionalism," Peter J. Katzenstein & Takashi Shiraishi, Editors, Cornell University Press.

Slater, David (2010). "The Making of Japan's New Working Class: "Freeters" and the Progression From Middle School to the Labor Market," In Japan Focus: The Asia Pacific Journal

Week 10: Topic: Gender and Family

Allison, Anne (2000). "Japanese Mothers and Obentos: The Lunch Box as Ideological State Apparatus." In Permitted and Prohibited Desires: Mothers, Comics and Censorship in Japan. University of California Press.

Osawa, Mari (2011). "Gender-Equality and the Revitalization of Japan's Society and Economy under Globalization," a Background Paper for the World Bank, World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development.

Week 11: Topic: The Tohoku Disasters of 3.11 (Earthquake & Tsunami)

Smits, Gregory (2014). When the Earth Roars: Lessons from the History of Earthquakes in Japan.
New York: Roman and Littlefield.

Paterni, Michael (2011). "The Man Who Sailed His House," in GQ magazine, Conde Naste.

Curtis, Gerald (2011). "Tohoku Diary," In Columbia College Today, Winter 2011 ? 12.

Week 12: Topic: The Fukushima Nuclear Crisis

Kushida, Kenji E. (2012). "Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: Narrative, Analysis, and Recommendation." Shorenstein APARC Working Paper. Stanford University.

Perrow, Charles (2011). "Fukushima and the Inevitability of Accidents," In Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 67, No. 2, pp. 44 - 52.

Week 13: Topic: The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster (Social and Political Consequences)

Greenpeace International (February 2012). Lessons from Fukushima.
Accessible online: Greenpeace Report on Fukushima Nuclear Disaster and Aftermath

Supplementary: Lochbaum, David, Ed Lyman and Susan Stranahan (2014). Fukushima: Story of a Nuclear Disaster. Free Press.

Week 14: 3.11 Legacies and Implications

Cleveland, K. (2014). "Significant Breaking Worse": The Fukushima Nuclear Crisis as a Moral Panic. Critical Asian Studies, 46(3), 509-539.

Erikson, Kai (1991). "Radiation's Lingering Dread," in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Vol. 47, Issue 2, pp. 34 ? 40.

Week 15: Final Exam and Class Conclusion