JS3213



Alternative Lives in Contemporary Japan

In a society where group consciousness and ethnic homogeneity are hailed as national characteristics, what does it mean to be different? This course deals with this question through an examination of social groups in contemporary Japan which by choice or circumstance fall out of the mainstream. Topics will include ethnic minorities, homosexuals, criminals, religious cult members, people with HIV/AIDS, the homeless, and others. By drawing upon the experiences of these alternative lives, students will be asked to generate their own theories on the process of social differentiation and the production of cultural identity in contemporary Japan.

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