Silke Werth

Ph.D. Candidate
Modern and Contemporary Japanese Culture and Society

Email Address

Office: HSSB 2229
Office Hours: F15: M 11-12, & by appointment

Research Focus:

Silke Werth is specializing in the field of modern and contemporary Japan with focus on global mobility of young Japanese adults. She investigates “moratorium migrants” along the themes emerging adulthood, movement with purpose/agency, social construction of place and space and diversification of life-courses by applying global and local frameworks through traditional and virtual ethnographic methods.

Silke’s topics of interest include the global circulation of people, diaspora theory, changing work situations of youth, social structure, natural and man made disasters (3/11 and Fukushima), place as social construct, maturity and adulthood, nationality, identity formation and self-perception in terms of race, ethnicity and gender.

Ph.D. Dissertation: Moratorium Migration: Japan’s Generation Z Navigates Maturation.

M.A. Thesis:  NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) in Japan: Media and the “New” Phenomenon of Young Adults Outside the Workforce (In German)


Academic History

  • M.A. Heidelberg University, Germany
      M.A. Thesis: NEET in Japan – Not in Education, Employment or Training: Young Adults Outside the Workforce as “New” Phenomena and the Role of the Media
  • Other Studies: Tokyo Gakugei University (2003-2004)

Teaching Experience


  • Winter 2012 – Japanese Language 2 – Dr. Shinagawa
  • Summer 2011 – Japanese Language 1 – Dr. Yamauchi
  • Fall 2010 – Japanese Language 4 – Dr. Shinagawa
  • Summer 2010 – Japanese Language 3 – Takara Nobutaka
  • Spring 2010 – Japan 40: Anthropology of Japan – Dr. lewallen
  • Winter 2010 – Japan 63: Sociology of Japan – Dr. Frühstück
  • Fall 2009 – Japanese Language 4 – Dr. Sugawara

Instructor of Records:

  • Fall 2015: Japan 60: Sociology of Japan. Lower Division. (Instructor of Records
  • Summer 2015: Japan/Anthropology 103B: Anthropology of Japan. Upper Division; Cross-Listen between EACLS and Anthropology. (Instructor of Records)
  • Summer 2014: Japan 150: Globalizing Japan: Culture and Society. Upper Division. (Instructor of Records)
  • Summer 2013: Japan 150: Globalizing Japan: Culture and Society. Upper Division. (Instructor of Records


Honors and Awards:


  • 2015: Graduate Student Professional Development Award, UC Santa Barbara
  • Fall 2014: UCSB Graduate Division Dissertation Fellowship
  • 2/2014 – 6/2014: Japan Foundation Long-Term Research Fellowship
  • 1/2013 – 4/2013: German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Research Grant
  • Spring 2012: UCSB Japan Foundation IPS Graduate Studies Fellowship
  • Spring 2011: UCSB Japan Foundation IPS Graduate Studies Fellowship
  • Winter 2011: UCSB Japan Foundation IPS Graduate Studies Fellowship
  • April 2011: UCSB Residence Hall Association Outstanding TA Award


  • 2008: “Not in Education, Employment or Training: Japan’s ‘NEET-Question.’ Views of a Social Phenomenon.” In: JAPAN 2008 Politik, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, Iris Wieczorek (Ed.). Berlin: Vereinigung für sozialwissenschaftliche Japanforschung, 267-291.
  • 2015 (forth): “Glocalization of Lifestyle Sports: Californian Dreams of Japanese Skaters.” Seijo Center for Glocal Studies Working Paper Series

Conference Papers

  • 2015: “Moratorium Migrants: Young Japanese Adults in Search for a Place to Call ‘Home.’” Paper ptresented at the Southwest Conference on Asian Studies (SWCAS), Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, November 6-7.
  • 2015: Chair of panel “Playing + Games” at Conference “Child’s Play: Multi-Sensory Histories of Children and Childhood in Japan and Beyond.” University of California, Santa Barbara, February 27-28.
  • 2015: “‘Artists’ and ‘Artisans’ on the Move: A Hands on Approach to Learning Skills for a Desirable Future.” Chapter presented at the Japanese Arts and Globalization (JAG) Work in Progress Retreat, Lake Arrowhead, May 22-24.
  • 2014: “Questioning Institutionalized Education: Young Japanese Adults go Global.” Paper presented at the Western Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (WCAAS), Arizona State University, Phoenix, October 3-4.
  • 2014: “Glocalization of Lifestyle Sports: Californian Dreams of Japanese Skaters.” Paper presented at the conference of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES with JASCA), Chiba (Japan), May 15.
  • 2013: ’Going Global:’ An-, Ein-, und Aussichten Junger Japaner im Ausland.” (Going Global: Opinions, Insights and prospects of Young Japanese Abroad) Invited talk, Japanology Department of Heidelberg University, Germany, June 8.
  • 2012: “Maturation Goes Global: Self and Society Among Japanese Sojourners in Santa Barbara.” Paper presented at the Japan Foundation Summer Institute 2012 on “Modes of Japanese Multiculturalisms: coexistence and marginality.” University of California, Santa Barbara, June 22.


  • Dr. Sabine Frühstück, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies
  • Dr. Howard Winant, Department of Sociology
  • Dr. ann-elise lewallen, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies