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Dr. Martha Selby, Chair 120 INNER CAMPUS DR STOP G9300 WCH 4.134 78712-1251 • 512-471-5811

Fall 2003

ANS 383 • Japanese Concepts of Body/Self

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
27670 F
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
UTC 4.120

Course Description

In this seminar, we will endeavor to navigate the extensive ethnographic literature that has been written on Japanese conceptualizations of self and body. The “self” has been one of the central themes in ethnographic writing about Japan, ever since Ruth Benedict’s work The Chrysanthemum and the Sword was published in the 1940’s. We will consider how Japanese educational approaches contribute to the formation of particular forms of behavior; how selves change over the life course; Japanese conceptualizations of the body and person; and how Japanese ideas about self and body are expressed in medical practices. The Japanese case will be placed in the broader context of theoretical work in anthropology that deals with concepts of self and body.

Grading Policy

Grading will be based upon a combination of book reviews and a research paper.


Kondo, Dorinne. Crafting Selves : Power, Gender, and Discourses of Identity in a Japanese Workplace McVeigh, Brian. Wearing Ideology: State, Schooling and Self-Presentation in Japan Long, Susan O. Lives in Motion: Composing Circles of Self and Community in Japan. Cornell East Asia Series Spielvogel, Laura. Working Out in Japan: Shaping the Female Body in Tokyo Fitness Clubs Strathern, Andrew. Body Thoughts Lock, Margaret. Encounters with Aging: Mythologies of Menopause in Japan and North America Rosenberger, Nancy. Gambling With Virtue: Japanese Women and the Search for Self in a Changing Nation


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