Silke Werth


Office Location



 Japan and East Asia; Migration; Youth, Young Adults and Inter-generational Relations; Social and Female Entrepreneurship; Social Construction of Place, Space, Gender and Race; Inequality; Food Insecurity; Transnationalism


PH.D. East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies, UCSB

M.A. Japan Studies and Environmental Economy, University of Heidelberg (Germany)


My research overall focuses on the dynamic changes of modern and contemporary Japanese culture and society in a global context, especially around the themes of emerging adulthood, migration, the social construction of place, space, gender and race, civil society and social sustainability. I conduct interdisciplinary, transnational, multi-method research to examine how a range of individuals address social, political and economic frictions in an effort to redirect their own life courses while also achieving social sustainability across national borders. I use the life stories of individuals to help highlight changes in current society in an attempt to foster solutions and a diversification of perceptions of ideal futures.

My dissertation “Japan’s Generation Z on the Move: Moratorium, Maturity and Home-making” analyzed how migration and cultural exchange impact notions of self, society, and decision making of emerging adults in search of a place to call home in Japan. My research has been funded by international grants and has been presented at international conferences.

Currently I am working with the Center of Taiwan Studies at UCSB to create a “Made in Taiwan” Database of life stories of people who grew up in Taiwan.


Ethnographic Research Methods: Ethics and Engagement  

Anthropology of Food  

Anthropology of Japan  

Social Organization: Poverty, Class and Inequality

Youth and Social Change in Today’s Japan

Media and Japanese Society

Popular Culture in Japan

Sociology of Japan

Globalizing Japan: Culture and Society

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology