Prospective Students
Home > Prospective Students > Special and Short-term Programs > UTokyo Global Unit Courses (GUC) > GUC24S231C | Culture, Media and Society in Japan

GUC24S231C | Culture, Media and Society in Japan

About the lecturer

I am interested in global cultural and social phenomena. I received an M.A. in sociology from Columbia University, New York, and a Ph.D. in communications from Goldsmiths, University of London. Building upon these foundations, I have been conducting ethnographic research on topics such as culture, media, race and ethnicity, gender, the production of art, and labor in New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo.
Assoc. Prof. Yuiko FUJITA

Video Introduction

Culture, Media and Society in Japan


1 Subject Culture, Media and Society in Japan
2 Field Communication Studies, Media and Cultural Studies, Anthropology, Sociology
3 Key words Media; Gender; Race and Ethnicity; Popular Culture; Youth; International Migration; Japan
4 Global Unit 1
5 Lecturer Yuiko FUJITA
6 Period July 1 - 12, 2024
7 Time 13:00-14:30 (Japan Standard Time)
8 Lecture style In-person (on Hongo Campus)
9 Evaluation Criteria Excellent (S) 90–100%; Very good (A) 80–89%; Good (B) 70–79%; Pass (C) 60–69%; Fail (D) 0–59%
10 Evaluation methods Attendance/participation 40%
Presentation 30%
Final project 30%
11 Prerequisites No prior knowledge about the subject is required. Students must be willing to engage in discussions.
12 Contents Purpose
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to do the following:
- Understand basic theories, concepts, and research methodology on media, communication, and cultural studies.
- Apply these conceptual tools to explain social phenomena and everyday life in Japan.
- Critically discuss current social problems in Japan.

This course offers an exploration of Japanese society, popular culture, and media, alongside an examination of global social dynamics. It addresses theories, concepts, and methodologies in media and cultural studies, communication, anthropology, and sociology, employing an interdisciplinary approach to analyze various aspects of everyday life in Japan.

The first half of the course focuses on issues of gender, race, ethnicity, and class in Japan. Gender inequality in Japan is severe and deeply rooted in the family and workplace. The once prevalent belief in the myth of a homogeneous nation is beginning to shift due to the increase in new immigrants. Moreover, young people are grappling with anxiety about Japan's future, amid its declining birthrate and aging population. The latter half of the course shifts towards an analysis of media and globalization, investigating how the global flows of digital media and popular culture are impacting personal relationships and images of the world in Japan.
During classes, the lecturer gives explanations on these topics and students engage in group discussions on them. Fieldwork is planned during the course.

1: Introduction
2: Gender Inequality: Family and Work
3: Youth, Education and Careers
4: Ethnic Minorities
5: Fieldwork
6: Youth Culture and Media
7: Japanese Popular Culture
8: Global Flows of Digital Media and Popular Culture
9: Global Flows of People: Media and Migration
10: Final Presentation​

(1) 20-minute group presentation on a final project
(2) Final group project
13 Required readings Will be provided during the course.
14 Reference readings Will be provided during the course.
15 Notes on Taking the Course -
UTokyo Global Unit Courses (GUC)
International Education Promotion Group, Education and Student Support Department
The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8652 JAPAN

For inquiries regarding GUC, kindly direct them to the following email address:
utokyo-guc.adm(at) *Please change (at) to @
Inquiries about the content of this page: International Education Promotion GroupSend inquiry
Access Map
Kashiwa Campus
Hongo Campus
Komaba Campus