SO/AN 391 - Social Organization in Japan with Field Placement

In this seminar, we will explore the structure and cultural principles of Japanese social organizations and the behavioral patterns of those members. Students use their field experience as a basis for understanding Japanese organizations and comparing them with organizations in other cultural systems. Students will be encouraged to examine their field placement as a reflection of society at large, while seeking to know specific circumstances and variations within the society.

Through their first-hand experiences in the Japanese organizations, students will become sensitive to the dangers of sweeping cultural generalities and stereotyping, and at the same time will become self-reflective to their own cultural assumptions. Issues such as individualism, groupism, group loyalty, the roles of ritu-als, the spatial patterns, and modes of communication within organizations are examined. Gender role expectations, the notions of work and leisure, and social relations in and outside of the work settings are also closely examined and discussed.

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