Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitJapanese Studies
OfferedClayton Second semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Carolyn Stevens


This capstone unit consolidates general knowledge about Japan and its popular culture by approaching popular cultures as a means by which personal and national identities are constructed. Popular culture, in this instance, is considered as a directive as well as a reflection of collective ideology. The genre of manga and anime, television and film, music, fashion and food cultures provide the contexts for students deepening their understanding of Japan's postwar cultural history; the role of new media and technology in society; personal identity as expressed through consumption and lifestyle; and important cultural expressions of socio-political resistance to hegemony.


  1. Japanese literacy and communicative competence: Building on the competence in Japanese acquired through earlier studies, students will be able to identify and comprehend genre-specific features of Japanese evident in the popular culture genres studied and demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which they reflect and construct the social meanings embedded in the texts.
  2. English literacy and communication skills: students will express ideas about Japanese culture and society verbally and in writing in sophisticated and nuanced ways through tutorial discussions and essay writing.
  3. Knowledge about Japanese language, society and culture: through the study and critique of Japanese popular cultural representations, students will problematicise social concepts already learned and develop their own critical frameworks for understanding these genres.
  4. Cross-cultural and inter-cultural competence: through the study of Japanese popular culture, students will have the opportunity to reflect on meanings associated with their own popular culture and national identity.
  5. World view and ethical values: Through exploring social issues (gender roles, personal identity, national identity, age hierarchy) in lectures, tutorials and written assignments students will reflect on their social values, respect for diversity and the ethical conduct and communication of research.
  6. Research skills: Students will develop and demonstrate independent research skills and critical thinking through their research projects, and further develop a personal voice in their understanding of the research literature.


Tutorial participation: 10%
Discussion board writing exercises: 25%
Research proposal: 25%
Final research essay: 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

On-campus: 2 hours of contact tuition per week (one 1 hour lecture and one 1 hour tutorial).

Self directed learning: 1 hour per week on the discussion board; private study 9 hours per week. This includes reading assigned materials (averaging two scholarly articles per week) and viewing tutorial materials as well as preparing assignments as listed above.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


The successful completion of any 2nd year elective for the Japanese studies major OR any 2nd year elective for International studies(Asian studies stream) major OR permission of the unit coordinator.