Masterclass 3

Johanna O. Zulueta

Associate Professor at the Faculty of Sociology of Toyo University

Doing Qualitative Research on Japan in the Time of COVID-19

17 December 2021, 5:00 – 7:00 pm (Philippine Standard Time)

How does one do qualitative research in Japanese Studies during a pandemic? How has research in Japanese Studies (and Area Studies) been affected with the shift to an online mode of learning and increasing restrictions on mobility? This workshop will look into the issues and challenges researchers faced and continue to face in doing qualitative research (particularly fieldwork) on Japan amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Students doing (or plan to do) qualitative research are encouraged to take part in this workshop that aims to collect innovative methods and best practices in researching the field, at the same time think of the future of Japanese Studies research post-pandemic. 

The workshop will have the following format:

  1. Qualitative Research Methods at a Glance
    • Paradigms and practices of qualitative methods
    • Ethics in research 
  2. Research in Area Studies
    • Area Studies vs. traditional disciplines
    • Choosing and using a methodology/ies in Area Studies
  3. Doing Qualitative Research in a Pandemic
    • The online shift
    • Suspended mobilities and the problem of conducting field research
  4. Group work and Discussion
    • Participants to talk about their work in break-out rooms
  5. Presentation of Results
    • Participants will present their revised work in the main room

To participate in this masterclass

Interested participants are asked to submit a 1,000 to 1,500-word paper about their research and the methodology employed. They should also include any challenges encountered in the course of their research.

Suggested Reading: Lupton, D. (editor) (2020) Doing fieldwork in a pandemic (crowd-sourced document)


Application Link


Johanna O. Zulueta is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Sociology of Toyo University. She is also Visiting Associate Professor at the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences of Taylor’s University, Malaysia. She received her A.B. (Social Sciences) and M.A. (Japanese Studies) from the Ateneo de Manila University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Hitotsubashi University as a Monbukagakusho scholar. In 2011-2013, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. She does research on migration, ethnicities, military basing, gender and families, citizenship, and ageing. For more than a decade, she has done research on Okinawa and considers this as her lifework. In addition to peer-reviewed articles in both English and Japanese, she also edited and wrote books. Her recent publications are: Transnational Identities on Okinawa’s Military Bases: Invisible Armies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) and Okinawan Women’s Stories of Migration: From War Brides to Issei (Routledge, forthcoming). She currently serves on the editorial board of the Japan Association for Migration Studies’ annual journal.

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