USC HIST 195 - 195 (6 pages)

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195



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195

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Pages:
6
School:
University of Southern California
Course:
Hist 195 - Selected Themes and Topics in History

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HIST 195 Selected Themes and Topics Fall 2004 Multicultural Japan Instructor Jason Webb Office SOS 173 Classroom VKC 107 E mail jasonweb usc edu Office hours Mondays 3 30 4 30 or by appt Class Monday and Wednesday 2 00 3 20 This course aims to call into question the popular misconception of Japan as a society possessing ethnic cultural and linguistic homogeneity To that end we will begin the semester by examining various assertions of the unique identity racial purity and cultural uniformity of the Japanese people and then proceed to consider four currently recognized minority populations of modern Japan 1 ethnic Korean noncitizen residents 2 burakumin outcastes 3 Ainu and 4 Okinawans In each case we will investigate the historical circumstances sometimes extending as far back as archaeological records that have caused these groups to exist in very complex ways on the margins of mainstream Japanese culture Such discussions inevitably will lead to larger questions how is ethnic identity constructed and maintained Who are the custodians of ethnic heritage What is the relationship between ethnic identity and the modern nation state What are the costs and benefits of assimilation What does it mean for an individual to be multiethnic We will consider these and other issues of Japanese diversity via readings in history sociology archaeology and literature Grading policy Quizzes 20 Eleven unannounced quizzes will be given during the course of the semester Each quiz will consist of one or two brief questions regarding some fundamental aspect of the assigned reading and should take less than five minutes to complete The purpose of these quizzes is simply to verify students adequate preparation for class For those who have done the reading they should present no difficulties whatsoever Quizzes are graded on a pass fail basis One low grade will be dropped Weekly Posts 20 Students are required to post on the course website once a week a response to some aspect of the readings



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