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Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 to 10:20 am
Wilson Hall 301

Instructor: Allison Alexy
Department of Anthropology, Brooks Hall 207
phone: (434) 982-2997
alexy [at]
Office hours: Wednesdays, 2:30 to 4:30pm, and by appointment
Check Collab’s “Sign-up” tab to sign up for office hours, and email me if there are problems.
Access: I hold my office hours in my office, which is Brooks Hall 207. It’s on the second floor, up a flight of stairs with no elevator. If this presents a problem for you, please let me know and I’ll be happy to meet you in Brooks Commons, which is on the first floor of Brooks Hall.

Teaching Assistant: Kuni Hirano
kh2mt [at]
Office hours: Fridays, 11:15am to 1:00pm in the Brooks Hall Commons.
Please email Kuni to set up an appointment.

In the American imagination, Japan often occupies a liminal position -- it is “modern” but not “Western,” and Japanese culture might seem recognizable but also very different. This course is a general introduction to the forms and patterns of postwar Japanese culture. First engaging common American perceptions and misperceptions of Japanese people and culture, we explore major social trends including the education system, family organization, styles of intimacy, and patterns of work. Constantly challenging American images of Japanese people, we analyze shared commonalities and cross-cutting differences, ideologies and practices, tools of control and efforts at resistance. The course aims to expose students to enduring social patterns, the range of Japan’s diversity, and concepts in social theory applicable to other cultural contexts. This course is open to all students and requires no Japanese language abilities.

These gorgeous pictures were taken by Richard Atrero de Guzman, who works under the name Bahagshi. Please visit his website here. All images on these pages come from his beautiful work.