Course “On Japanese Social Imaginary”

Due to an increase in work commitments, since April 2021 I am not teaching this course. I will let you know when I can resume them.

Course taught by the author based on the content of the eponymous book published in August 2020. The course objectives are to explain in detail the contents of its various chapters illustrating them with concrete examples, to explain in a simple way the theoretical concepts, to introduce more statistical data and related audiovisual material. Both the book and the classes are intended to make their content understandable to as many people as possible.

The working method consists of the following three steps: 1) three days before the day of the meeting, you will receive a summary containing several points taken from the chapters to be discussed. Students also suggest topics that are usually related to what we have discussed in previous meetings. 2) In the meeting we talk about the topics of the chapters and those suggested by the students. My interventions are strongly related to the interests of the students. We work through comments, questions and answers. We have a guide in the book chapters and their summaries. If a participant prefers to remain as a silent witness reaching his or her own conclusions, he or she is also welcome. You can participate as you like. In the extreme case that everyone prefers to listen to me, the meeting will be more like a master class. But normally the conversation takes us two hours and it is only stopped by the agreed time to finish. That is not the end and we can’t draw definitive conclusions. You will have to work on the ideas expressed by the participants. 3) To facilitate that work, which can last for weeks, months and years, once the meeting is over I send you its recording so you can relive it as many times as you want. You can also renew your concerns to ask questions or make comments at successive meetings. I use zoom. I will send you an ID and a password that you will use for all meetings.

E-book cover

The course consists of three modules of four meetings each. Meetings will be held on Saturdays from 9 to 11 a.m. (Japan time) during twelve consecutive weeks. Number of students: Minimum: 3, Maximum: 6. You can enter/exit the course at the beginning/end of any of the modules. You can pay through PayPal taking advantage of the links you will find below. Once the fee for a module has been paid you become part of the course for those four meetings.

First Module (January 9 to 30, 2021).

First Meeting: We will discuss the two introductory chapters: 1) The bureaucratization of experience. 2) On large and small ceremonies.

Second Meeting: Chapter 3: The Social Imaginary. Chapter 4: Japanese Society Seen From Psychoanalysis. Along with the next meeting, it includes most of the theoretical elements that will help us understand the subjects and specific cases addressed in the rest of the book.

Third Meeting: Chapter 5: Enryo (abstention) ~ Sasshi (conjecture). Chapter 6: A stage and a script. We will delve into elements considered an essential part of Japanese culture. We will discuss whether that conception is adequate.

Fourth Meeting: Chapter 7: Job Search Ritualization. Chapter 8: Ritualizing relationships in the workplace.

Second Module (February 6 to 27, 2021)

Students entering the course from the second module are kindly requested to read in advance the chapters included in the first module in order to get an idea of the theoretical elements that will help to understand specific cases.

First Meeting: Chapter 9: Ritualization of electoral campaigns. Chapter 10: Mama San Volley: The Ritualization Of Leisure.

Second Meeting: In this meeting we will deal with the educational system. Chapter 11: Compulsory Education. Capítulo 12: University Studies.

Third Meeting: Chapter 13: On Resilience. Chapter 14: On silence.

Fourth Meeting: Chapter 15: On solitude. Chapter 16: On death.

Third Module (March 6 to 27, 2021).

Students entering the course from the third module are kindly requested to read in advance the chapters included in the first module in order to get an idea of the theoretical elements that will help to understand specific cases.

First Meeting: In this class and the next one we will deal with the situation of women and gender relations from various angles. Chapter 17: The Wedding Ceremony. Chapter 18: Marriage and Reproduction.

Second Meeting: Chapter 19: The Ideal Woman in the Workplace. Chapter 20: Gender Discrimination and Sexual Harassment.

Third Meeting: Chapter 21: About Lying. Chapter 22: The Pandemic. We will try to understand how the Covid-19 pandemic was dealt with in the light of what has been discussed during the course.

Fourth Meeting: Chapter 23: On Denial. We will review what has been seen throughout the course and search for the topics on which it would be appropriate to focus our attention from now on.

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