Current Social Issues in East Asia:Ageing Societies and the Role of Women
East Asia is often discussed from the perspectives of global economy, international relations or ancient history and culture. However, there are other economic and societal topics deserving the limelight and discussion in a summer school setting. The summer school Current Social Issues in East Asia: Ageing Societies and the Role of Women brings two topics to the fore.
China, Japan and Korea are all facing challenges due to their ageing populations. This makes them interestingly comparable to most European states. The summer university seeks to find answers to questions as: What is the economic impact of ageing societies? How are the challenges being dealt with? What could be learned from the experiences of East Asian states? What does it mean to become old in contemporary East Asia? Equally important are questions about the changing role of women. East Asian societies have for centuries followed gender roles based on Confucian values. Over the recent decades, major shifts have occurred due to changes in the political and economic systems. What is the current role and position of women in East Asian societies? How are women’s rights upheld? How does the changing role of women impact the economy?
The two topics are interlinked and have multiple layers that will be dissected during the summer school. The topics discussed at this summer school are of interest to students of various disciplines. Economics students will learn about economic challenges and opportunities in the changing setting. Students of culture studies will get an understanding of the conflict between traditional values and contemporary changes. Political scientists will be interested in how politics and regulations are used to tackle these issues or how they have been intensified by misguided politics. The summer university will focus on the cases of Japan, Korea, China and Vietnam with comparisons drawn with Europe and Estonia.
This is the second Asia-related summer university held at the University of Tartu. The purpose of the summer school is to contribute to the ongoing studies or previous experience of students interested in East Asia. The two-week programme is full of theoretical lectures, interesting case studies, interactive seminars and thought-provoking group works. The University of Tartu is due to open an MA programme in Asian and Middle Eastern studies in autumn 2019.
Some of the topics to be covered in lectures and interactive seminars:
- The implications of ageing societies on East Asian economies
- Japan – a demographic catastrophe waiting to happen?
- Mobilising women in the workforce – a solution for Japan?
- Becoming old in East Asia – tradition and contemporary issues
- The impact of ageing on economies – a theoretical approach
- Women’s health and maternity in East Asia: conflict between social expectations and policy
- The history and contemporary results of one child/two child policy in China and Vietnam
- Economic implications of left-behind children in China
- Prostitution and human trafficking in South East Asia and East Asia
- Role of Women in the Confucian Tradition
- The painful history of comfort women
- Political activism of Women in East Asia: MeToo movements in Korea and Japan in the global context
- Pay gap issues in Korea: surprising similarities with Estonia
- Fighting violence against women: Estonia in the global context
The Summer School includes a culture program which is is composed of boat ride on the river Emajõgi, visit to a local museum, movie night, city tour in Tallinn old town and informal pub nights. Details will be specified as the summer school comes closer.
Admission to Current Social Issues in East Asia: Ageing Societies and the Role of Women
- Online application form
- Motivation letter (up to 1.5 page)
- Transcript of academic records
- Copy of the passport
Applications are evaluated based onMotivation letter (up to 1.5 page) that demonstrates the applicant’s motivation to participate, explains his/her expectations about the programme and how participation in the summer programme is connected with his/her studies and interests, and how the applicant plans to use the gained experience and knowledge in the future.