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Fachbereich Geschichts- und Kulturwissenschaften - Ostasien und Vorderer Orient Japanologie

Research Assistant (praedoc) 75% part-time job Limited to 30.09.2023 Entgeltgruppe 13 TV-L FU Kennung: Japanologie/Reiher/Rural migration_2020_2

Bewerbungsende: 29.06.2020

Applications are invited for a three-year period to work as Research Assistant (PhD candidate) on the project ‘Urban-rural migration and rural revitalization in Japan’ funded by the German Research Foundation at Freie Universität Berlin.
The project ‘Urban-rural migration and rural revitalization in Japan’, led by Prof. Cornelia Reiher, seeks to understand the impacts of urban-rural migration on rural revitalization in Kyūshū, Japan’s most southern main island. At the interface of social anthropology and political science, we empirically study interlinkages between urban-rural migration and rural revitalization as well as between local practices, urban-rural migration and larger societal, political and economic structures. The project will analyze how mobilities change social structures and orders, power inequalities between centers and their peripheries and central-local relations in Japan. For more detailed information on the project, see https://www.geschkult.fu-berlin.de/e/oas/japanologie/forschung/Forschungsschwerpunkte-des-Arbeitsbereichs-Gesellschaft-Japans/DFG-Projekt-RE-4234_2-1-Urban-rural-migration-and-rural-revitalization-in-Japan/index.html

Job description:

The research assistant will work in the subproject “The center moves to the periphery: Urban-rural migrants and rural revitalization in Kyūshū”. It is conceptualized as an ethnographic study in two municipalities that will be selected during exploratory fieldwork in Kyūshū. It focuses on the life worlds and everyday practices of newcomers and return migrants in rural Japan. The research assistant will study urban-rural migration in Japan from the perspective of newcomers’ and return migrants’ experiences, everyday practices and local structures. This includes the analysis of social dynamics in these communities between newcomers and ‘natives’, among newcomers and between local governments, residents and other local organizations involved in rural revitalization activities.
The successful candidate will conduct independent research and write a doctoral thesis on a particular subject within the subproject. The thesis can be written in English or in German. Most of the research will be undertaken through fieldwork in Japan. Additionally, the candidate will participate in joint research activities of the team, such as organizing workshops and contributing to the production of publications. Teaching will not be required.
The preferred start date is 1 October 2020. The salary range lies within the German civil service TV-L 13 salary group. The candidate will have access to funding for fieldwork and conference travel. The working language of the project is English (optionally also Japanese or German).


Master’s degree in Japanese Studies, Anthropology or other relevant fields with a regional focus on Japan.


The doctoral researcher conducting this project ideally has a background in the anthropology or sociology of Japan, knowledge about ethnographic methods, fieldwork experience in Japan and desirably knowledge about qualitative social science research methods. The researcher should be fluent in Japanese and have fluent oral and written communication skills in English. The successful candidate should reside in Berlin or in commuting distance.
All applications should include
- a current and detailed CV
- a statement of your particular research interest in the project and your possible contribution to the subproject
- a sample of your academic writing (e.g. final thesis or publications)
- a list with 2 possible referees whom we could contact

Stellenauschreibung vom: 07.06.2020