This course explores the changing culture and society of China, South Korea, and Japan and analyzes the reactions of the ordinary people to the changes. Our course discussion begins with a critical investigation into traditional societies based on patriarchy, Confucian ethics, and subsistence agriculture and how they have changed since their initial encounters with expanding global capitalism. This course then examines how the recently intensifying transnational movements of capital, commodities, people, and "cultures" have created particular cultural and societal forms in the region. Drawing on ethnographic, historical, and political literature about the three countries, students can understand how the particular culture and economy of each country have contributed to creating different paths of their historical-cultural transformations. Our topics include: changes in traditional families and gender roles, international wars and massive modernization movements; corporate culture and its local variations; domestic and international labor migration and the conditions of migrant workers; international marriages and transnational flow of brides; US-based fast food restaurants and food crisis; emerging consumerism and commodification of childhood, "odorless" Japanese cultural products and their popularity in Asian countries.
Section 401 - LEC
MW 0200PM-0330PM